● Event: EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix (Round 6 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 26
● Location: Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas
● Layout: 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course● Laps/Miles: 68 laps/231.88 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 15 laps / Stage 2: 15 laps / Final Stage: 38 laps
● TV/Radio: FOX / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Chase Briscoe will make his third start at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, this Sunday in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. Briscoe earned his first NASCAR Cup Series top-10 with his sixth-place in the inaugural race there in 2021. It was his first of three top-10 finishes earned in his Rookie of the Year season, all on road courses. Though the introduction of the NextGen car leveled the playing field on road courses during the 2022 season, Briscoe’s team showed speed on road courses. He’s focused this year on finding the areas where he can gain advantages over his competitors through intense prep work during the offseason.
● Beginning this weekend at COTA, teams will no longer see mandatory cautions at the conclusion of the first and second stages at road-course events. Drivers will still earn stage points based on their running position at the completion of the designated lap, but there will be no break in racing action.
● Two of Briscoe’s biggest wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series came on road courses. The first, earned on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval in 2018, has been credited as the win that saved his career. In 2020, when the Xfinity Series ran its inaugural race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grand prix circuit, the Mitchell, Indiana, native led a race-high 30 of 62 laps en route to a dominating win in front of his hometown crowd.
● Sunday’s race is as a home event for Mahindra Tractors, a brand of Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America. Part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, Mahindra Ag North America is the No. 1-selling farm tractor company in the world, based on volumes across all company brands. Mahindra farm equipment is engineered to be easy to operate by first-time tractor or side-by-side owners, and heavy duty to tackle the tough jobs of rural living, farming and ranching. Steel-framed Mahindra tractors and side-by-sides are ideal for customers who demand performance, reliability and comfort at a great value. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
In 2021, all of your top-10 finishes came on road courses. With the introduction of the NextGen car, we saw more parity. Is it more difficult to find those areas on track where you can gain an advantage over other teams?“I think the whole field has elevated their ability on road courses, between the teams putting in work to figure out what to do with the new car and the driver getting more comfortable. So, it’s going to be hard to have a big advantage where you would typically find it, in a braking zone or with straightaway speed, but the lower downforce will hopefully help some and allow us to find something we can work with to gain that advantage.”
You got to spend time with Jenson Button last week. Did you have any advice for the Formula One champion before his first NASCAR start?“I don’t know that he needs any advice from me. These Formula One guys are unbelievable road-course racers. Last year, I kind of did a seat swap with Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen at the Charlotte Roval, and they only ran like five laps apiece before they were within a second of what I was running at pretty much 100 percent. So, Jenson is going to bring a lot to the table just as far as knowing what to look for as an opportunity to maximize what he’s getting from the car. I’m really excited for the opportunity to race against him and learn from him. I don’t think it will take long for him to catch on, just from talking to him and seeing how he prepares for these races.”