NASCAR unveiled a big change this year with their Next Gen cars. The takeaways from the vast majority of drivers to this point have varied from positive to sometimes negative. It depends on who you ask. However, Phoenix Raceway was a welcome sight for a number of drivers on Sunday. The NASCAR race yesterday, won by Chase Briscoe, was a different track that may have lent itself more to the Next Gen cars.
Next Gen Cars in Phoenix
Michael McDowell told Cronkite News, “This car lends itself more to road courses and short tracks.” A different kind of track for the drivers than what they’ve seen to this point with the new cars. He continued, “It’s got big brakes, it’s got a bitter tire, all those things that will help on those race tracks that you can really attack.” This was a major positive for a lot of the NASCAR superstars on Sunday.
For others, though, getting used to the new cars has been a process. Even Austin Cindric, who won the Daytona 500 this year, does not like some aspects of the car. He said, “My right butt cheek was on fire after two laps because I don’t have the muscle memory for this car.”
Chase Briscoe Wins Ruoff 500 in Phoenix
Briscoe won the Ruoff 500. It was another NASCAR Cup Series surprise on Sunday. Coming in, he was not among the top-5 drivers in Vegas betting odds. Kyle Larson was the favorite entering the race in Phoenix. However, it was another delightful upset that overwhelmed Briscoe. He said, “I called my mom, I remember, an hour before.” It was a lot. He continued, “I was bawling. I was over it. I felt like I had been kicked so many times, had no opportunities.”
It’s been a long time coming for Chase Briscoe. He worked extremely hard to get to where he is now. His win on Sunday was the direct result of lots of hard work and that never-give-up mentality. He continued, “I never thought I’d win a Truck race, let alone win in all three series now.” Briscoe added,“It’s super special. Can’t believe it. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I don’t know if it will for a while.”
It’s going to take some time to sink in. That won’t happen overnight. He added, “I think from a confidence standpoint, I feel like I belong this year.” Briscoe concluded, “Last year, you’re very eyes wide open. You’re racing against guys you’ve watched on TV for years, you’ve looked up to. Now, I don’t look at the 18 car and go, ‘That’s Kyle Busch.’ It’s just the 18 car, another guy out there.”
Next week, NASCAR heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway.