Chase Briscoe on why his NASCAR career is ‘probably over’ if he doesn’t win with Gibbs

He's said something similar before and backed it up then, too

Chase Briscoe has a penchant for putting a tremendous amount of pressure on himself and just did it again with his impending move to Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

“If I don’t win, then the way I look at it is as my career is probably over, because if I can’t perform at this caliber of a race team, then why would any other owner take a chance on me,” Briscoe said during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.

Some fans offered skepticism about the decision from Coach Joe Gibbs to hire Briscoe because he only has a single Cup Series victory on his resume at the highest level with Stewart-Haas Racing, at Phoenix Raceway in 2022.

Of course, over that span, Stewart-Haas eventually struggled (and then failed) to produce cars that even Kevin Harvick could take to Victory Lane and the entire company has failed to win since August 2022. The team will close at the end of the season.

Briscoe is being hired based on his Xfinity Series resume and the promise of what he could do an equally dominant Cup Series car like those Gibbs fields.

“For me a huge deal, … you look at what he did in Xfinity by leading the laps, the nine wins and all that — that’s the part of our world where you get the feeling somebody could do it at the Cup level,” Gibbs said. “He went through that. He won once. … Is it a cinch? No.

“But we think in analyzing everything, he could be a little bit like Martin.”

Martin Truex Jr. was a journeyman racer, who won two Xfinity Series championships but only won twice at the Cup Series level from 2006 to 2014 before winning in bulk once Furniture Row Racing turned the corner and became a contender, and then some once that team was absorbed by Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019.

He won 32 more times from 2015 to 2024.

But again, this is about the pressure that Briscoe places on himself and he did something similar prior to that 2020 Xfinity Series season when he said, “I’m going to have to win eight races to even be considered for a Cup ride.”

Nine races is … a lot.

He went out and won nine times and was the easy and obvious replacement when Clint Bowyer retired at the end of that campaign.

His next crew chief, James Small sees a similar potential based on what he’s currently doing at Stewart-Haas.

“Chase has to prove himself — he’s been in a car that’s been not that great, you know what I mean? And now he’s stepping to one of the most coveted rides in NASCAR,” Small said. “And I really believe after sitting down and talking to him that he’s ready to do what it takes to win. And we’re behind him.

“I think we can come out and win. There will be a little bit of a learning process, but I think our team is strong enough to figure all that out. We’ll be up front right away.”

Briscoe knows he still has things to work on from an execution and race craft standpoint but he also believes Joe Gibbs Racing will make that process way easier than anything he has ever driven at the highest level to date.

“I’ve proven that when our car is capable, I’m more than capable to be in the mix and battle for race wins,” Briscoe said. “A lot of those races, I honestly kind of threw away at SHR. … When our car is right, I feel like I’ve been able to show that I can do it.

“I’ve been able to win at the Cup level. From a consistency standpoint, 100 percent it’s not been there. It’s not and there’s no excuse for that. But I do think from a consistency standpoint, it’s going to be way easier over here to be consistent just week in and week out, their cars are extremely fast. At our place, we’ve been more hit-and-miss.”

So it comes back to that self-inflicted pressure and he’s aware of the similarities too.

“The way I look at it is this is very similar to the Xfinity deal when I said I had to win eight-to-10 races,” Briscoe said. “I don’t have to win eight-to-10. It’d be great if I do. But I have to win. There’s no excuse to not win. You have to make the playoffs. If you don’t make the playoffs then there’s no reason I should be driving this race car.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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