If Chase Briscoe is going to compete for the victory in Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway again this year, he is likely going to have to overcome a great deal of physical pain.
The Mitchell, Indiana-native will have to run Sunday’s 250-lap contest with a broken finger, which he sustained while qualifying for the Kyle Larson Late Model Challenge at Volunteer Speedway on Thursday.
“I was running that Dirt Late Model race with [Kyle] Larson on Thursday,” said Briscoe about the incident. “In qualifying, I got really tight and was all the way to the left and when I hit the wall, it literally ripped the wheel all the way back to the right. Never had that happen before.”
The incident came the night before Briscoe was scheduled to compete in four practice sessions, as the 28-year-old driver had already committed to running double duty in the NASCAR Cup and Truck Series.
“I knew that when I pulled into the infield, I could tell that it hurt a little bit, and I was kind of waiting,” Briscoe continued. “I had the adrenaline pumping a little bit, look at my finger and it was crooked, so I knew I was in trouble. I went to the ambulance and they didn’t know if it was necessarily broken.”
“The next morning, I came here and got an x-ray, and as soon as the picture popped up the doctor went ‘Oh boy’, so I knew I was in trouble. Overall, I feel like I’m 99 percent of what I am normally, so I feel pretty good about it.”
Talking to members of the media after scoring a top-10 finish in Saturday’s Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt driving for AM Racing, Briscoe revealed that the break was on his middle finger, right at the knuckle, and travels diagonally all the way down to the middle of his finger.
For the most part, though, Briscoe said things went alright during the NASCAR Truck Series event, with the exception of a couple of times where the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said he got behind on his steering.
“My hand is throbbing already – like, I can feel my pulse in it, so I’m sure an hour from now, I’m going to be hurting pretty bad, but it held up really well today, I was amazed with how well I was able to drive truthfully, just with how much pain I was in doing everyday life stuff.”
Despite the broken finger, which Briscoe says he’ll be having surgery on between Bristol and Martinsville, the experienced dirt racer says he’s still confident that he can visit victory lane in Sunday’s 250-lap contest.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Briscoe reiterated. “I feel like I can still go out and contend for the win.”
Although tomorrow won’t be an issue, despite the shifting that will have to be done to get around the half-mile dirt oval, Briscoe’s concerns lie more with next weekend’s event at Martinsville, especially considering he’ll be recovering from surgery.
“I shifted in the heat race today, so I feel confident that I can do it. Martinsville is a little more concerning I would say, with the load in the wheel, and we’re going to have one-thousand-something shifts next week. So, it’ll be a little harder there, and then also with the surgery this week, I don’t know where that’s going to put me.”