Atlanta Pre-Race Release
● Event: Ambetter Health 400 (Round 5 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 19
● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway
● Layout: 1.5-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 60 laps / Stage 2: 100 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps
● TV/Radio: FOX / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway on an upward trend after earning his first top-10 finish of the season last Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. The result ended a streak of finishes outside the top-20 to start the year.
● Though his results at Atlanta haven’t been his best, Briscoe has a chance to change that in just his third start on the track’s superspeedway-style configuration. The track in Hampton, Georgia, underwent changes prior to the start of the 2022 season to create tighter, superspeedway-type racing on its 1.54-mile oval. The racing surface was repaved, and the track width was reconfigured to vary from 55 feet to 40 feet while the banking in the corners was increased from 24 to 28 degrees – the steepest intermediate track on the schedule.
● Briscoe started on the pole for the first race on the newly reconfigured Atlanta in March 2022 after qualifying was rained out. He drove to a 15th-place finish. He returned in July to finish 16th. Briscoe’s best finish of 15th in his two Cup Series outings on Atlanta’s original configuration came in July 2021.
● In three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta, Briscoe has a best finish of ninth in his most recent visit in June 2020, and a NASCAR Truck Series start there in March 2017.
● Transform Your IT –The blue-and-white colors of HighPoint, the leading IT infrastructure and solutions company, return to the No. 14 Mustang for the first time in 2023 after first appearing on Briscoe’s car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020. Briscoe earned four of his series-high nine wins that year in the HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for SHR.
Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What did you learn about the new Atlanta configuration during last year’s two Cup Series visits there?
“There were plenty of unknowns going into Atlanta last year, and we learned it definitely races similar to Daytona and has that superspeedway feel. Two races don’t give you a whole lot of experience to fall back on, but I think that would be more of an issue if it were a typical 1.5-mile track. In this case, we at least know what this car is going to do on superspeedways and can look back to what we did at Daytona and last year’s races. You’ll have the same ‘anything can happen’ type of race and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”
We say that the new configuration produced superspeedway-style racing, but it’s still a mile-and-a-half track. What makes a race at Atlanta different from a typical superspeedway race?
“Balance is more important at Atlanta than it is at Daytona or Talladega. The car does rely a little more on the setup and the runs come together a lot quicker, so you don’t want to not have the car set up right. You don’t have as much time to react to what happens in front of you, so you really need the car to be handling the right way when you’re in the pack.”
You and the No. 14 team were finally able to knock out a top-10 finish last weekend at Phoenix. Does that give you a little boost after a challenging start to your season?
“We really needed that finish. It’s no secret that we struggled at Fontana and Las Vegas, but we knew going into Phoenix we had a good chance to turn things around. We just need to find that consistency that we ended last year with. There were some changes to the car that we’re still trying to figure out, but I know the guys are going to give me everything they’ve got at the end of the day, so as long as I do my part, we’ll be OK. There’s a long way to go before we get to the playoffs and every weekend is another chance to show that we belong and are capable of getting wins. We just have some things we need to work on to get there.”