Stewart-Haas Racing didn’t have to conduct an outside search for Clint Bowyer’s replacement.
The team said Tuesday that Chase Briscoe would take over as the driver of the No. 14 car in 2021. Briscoe currently drives for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Xfinity Series and has a series-high nine wins in 2020.
“In the final three races last season, we saw a confidence in Chase that we hadn’t seen before,” Tony Stewart said in a statement. “There was a transformation, and I think those three races last year were a preview of what we were going to see this year. He’s delivered time and time again this season and he’s definitely ready for the NASCAR Cup Series.”
Bowyer announced earlier in October that he would be retiring from NASCAR and moving to the broadcast booth. That opened up the seat for Briscoe, a driver who has shown he’s worthy of a Cup Series ride.
Briscoe, 26, has won at intermediate tracks, short tracks and road courses in 2020. He’s the only Xfinity Series driver with more than five wins and is the favorite to win the 2020 title.
Moving Briscoe up to the Cup Series is also a cost-saving move. And you can’t overlook the importance of saving money in this tumultuous time for NASCAR. As a driver without Cup Series experience, Briscoe doesn’t command the salary that a Cup veteran like Bowyer would.
Briscoe is in his second season racing full-time for Stewart-Haas in the Xfinity Series. He was fifth in the points standings in 2019 after he won one race in 17 starts in 2018.
He moved to SHR after racing for one season in the Truck Series with Brad Keselowski’s truck team. Briscoe won one race and had 10 top-five finishes in 2017 in his only Truck Series season.
“Growing up in Indiana and racing sprint cars, the guy I always looked up to was Tony Stewart. To be able to drive for him is a dream come true,” Briscoe said. “Tony and Gene have built something really special in Stewart-Haas Racing. Being a part of it in the Xfinity Series and now, the NASCAR Cup Series, has always been my goal.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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