● Event: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 (Round 8 of 36) ● Time/Date: 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 9 ● Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway ● Layout: .526-mile oval ● Laps/Miles: 400 laps/210.4 miles ● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 80 laps / Stage 2: 100 laps / Final Stage: 220 laps ● TV/Radio: FS1 / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Notes of Interest
● Chase Briscoe is looking for his second win of the season in his No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) at the paperclip-shaped Martinsville (Va.) Speedway oval. In two Cup Series starts at the half-mile short track, Briscoe has a best finish of 22nd earned last fall. His best Cup Series result on a short track was an 11th-place finish earned last Sunday at Virginia’s other short track, Richmond Raceway. ● Seven races into the 2022 season, Briscoe is ninth in points, 49 out of first. He currently holds a spot in the 16-driver playoff field by virtue of his win March 13 at Phoenix Raceway. ● The 27-year-old driver from Mitchell, Indiana, made 15 short-track starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, scoring two wins – September 2020 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and July 2019 at Iowa Speedway in Newton – and earning 10 top-10 finishes. When the Xfinity Series made its return to Martinsville in the fall of 2020 after a 13-year hiatus, Briscoe finished seventh. ● Briscoe also made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville. His best result came in April 2017 when he started eighth and finished 11th. He returned in October to start on the pole and lead the first 39 laps before a late-race accident relegated him to a 19th-place finish. ● Mahindra Tractors, a brand of Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America, will be present on the No. 14 Ford Mustang for the second consecutive short track event after being the primary sponsor last weekend at Richmond. 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:
Now that you’ve raced the NextGen on a true short track, what can we expect to see this weekend at Martinsville? “I think we’ll see typical Martinsville – hard racing and a few guys mad at each other by the end of the race. In the past, brakes have come into play, guys using them up early in the race and having a hard time getting through the corners. And I think we’ll still see some issues where brakes are concerned but it might look a bit different than it has in the past. The track we raced on for the Clash is probably the closest to Martinsville, just half the size, so a lot of what you saw with the longer straightaways and tighter corners, and how guys were setting up passes, is likely what we’ll see this weekend. At least, I hope that’s how it goes. We ran pretty well there so, hopefully, we can take what we did there and have it translate to Martinsville. It’s always a fun race, but a lot more fun if you’re up near the front and out of the trouble happening further back in the field.” Last weekend at Richmond, you qualified fourth but fell back out of the top-20 early in the race before fighting your way back to the front. Was that just a result of how the car was set up to start the race, or were you learning how to navigate that kind of short-track racing? “I’m definitely still trying to figure out short tracks. I didn’t grow up doing any kind of short-track pavement racing, unlike a lot of the guys I’m racing against. Our car was good, we showed that in practice and there at the end of the race, when we were running top-10, but I was still getting the hang of what I needed to do. I’m more comfortable at Martinsville after having more experience there in Trucks, but the short-track side of things is still something I’m working on and I feel good about what we’ve learned so far with this new car.”