RPW Column By: JOHN DOUGLAS / RPW – DARLINGTON, SC – After months of anticipation to get back to racing, one driver was dealing with far greater personal issues than a lack of racing in his life.
Chase Briscoe, the 23 year old from Mitchell, Indiana, and his wife Marissa were given news no one wants to hear. They had experienced a miscarriage.
Briscoe’s race Thursday could have been a day where a driver just went through the motions and no one would’ve blamed him. Instead, he drove, competed against and beat the sport’s very best and then laid his emotion on the table for all to see after the checkered flag had fallen.
The man he had beaten, Kyle Busch, isn’t just the winningest driver in Xfinity Series history but more notably in this case, he’s a fellow competitor who has coped with the loss of a child during pregnancy with his wife Samantha.
The two hard nosed, highly motivated drivers put on a final three lap battle that Kyle’s older brother Kurt might say looked a bit familiar to the 2003 finish in which the elder Bush brother and Ricky Craven wowed the racing world with their intense battle and photo finish. On that day, Craven would be the victor.
Climbing from the No. 98 machine, Briscoe took a knee as emotion clearly overcame him, to say a prayer. Briscoe needed a couple seconds to compose himself enough for the post-race interview, which was willingly afforded to him by all media involved.
“This is for my wife. This has been the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with. When I took the lead, I was crying in my car. This is more than a race win. This is the biggest win of my life after the toughest day of my life. To be able to beat the best there is, is so satisfying.”
“This is the number one win. Honestly, winning the Daytona 500 couldn’t even top the feeling of just, like I was saying earlier, the ups and downs. This is what my family needed and what my wife needed.”
Briscoe’s win was far more than just an example of a skilled driver being the very best on a given race day. It was about overcoming life’s tragedies and perseverance. In a time where much of the world is dealing with daily struggles due to the pandemic that kept fans away from the track, this young man gave people an example of how to hold your head up and push forward.
After a performance like that, make a space for Briscoe in your potential stars category for a lot more wins and a championship trophy in the future. The signs were already there in previous wins that Briscoe is a top tier driving talent in the XFINITY Series, however winning under extreme circumstances, beyond those already posed to everyone at the track, is a true sign of a champion in the making.