Chase Briscoe Shares Ugly Truth About Kevin Harvick & Stewart-Haas Racing

Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick walk together.

Getty Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick walk grid.

After a decade at Stewart-Haas Racing, Kevin Harvick retired at the end of 2023. Now, six races into the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series campaign, and the organization has a different feel. It’s improved. 

Chase Briscoe, who is now the longest-tenured driver within the four-car organization in his fourth season, opened up about the changes before the March 24 race at Circuit of the Americas and candidly admitted how it didn’t feel like a team in the past with the veterans in Harvick and Aric Almirola.

“Yeah, I would just say, honestly, the shop morale is different,” Briscoe acknowledged. “You know, when we had Kevin there, if the Hall of Famer’s not winning and running up front, like you instantly know that just something is not right.

“So, over the offseason, I think it was just finally addressed, that like, hey, we have serious issues that we need to try to handle. You obviously saw that with Tony coming out publicly and saying stuff and then just internally, we’ve changed a lot of our processes and things that we do at the shop and just trying to make things more structured and organized. And honestly just work more as a cohesive unit, where in the past it was kind of four separate teams doing their own things.

“We still have a ways to go to kind of get that full buy-in. I feel like right now the teams definitely have worked more together now than any time that I’ve been at Stewart-Haas. I do feel like that’s some of the reasoning you’ve kind of seen that.”

Chase Briscoe Taking on Leadership Role

Naturally, you would expect the 29-year-old Briscoe, who is the only driver at SHR with a win, to step in and fill a leadership role. He has done just that. 

“The dynamic of the place is kind of different, at least from the driver’s side,” Briscoe said. “You know, when I came into the Cup Series, I was just super quiet and like at our competition meetings, you know, Kevin and Aric had been in the sport 10-15 years, and they were going to steer the ship at the place.

“Where now I feel like I definitely, can use my voice and kind of be more of a leader. And I feel more confident in that, too. So it’s been nice to kind of have that luxury now of just feeling like I can kind of speak my own opinion and if I’m passionate about something, make them aware that I’m passionate about it.

“So you put all that together and you have four guys now that just have a lot to prove. We only have one win between the four of us. So we all are super hungry to go out there and prove what we can do. And, I just think all of our personalities jive pretty well together. And the shop attitude is different.

“All four of us are at the shop a ton where in the past, you didn’t really see the drivers there too much. Where Ryan (Preece) and Noah (Gragson) are practically there every single day. And then, Josh (Berry) and I are there three days a week, typically. So we just are there a lot and around the guys a lot. And that morale, I feel like has shown.”

Chase Briscoe and Team Show Marked Improvement in 2024

That improvement in morale has shown with improved results on the track. Through the first six races, Briscoe has four results inside the top 15, including a pair of top 10s. A year ago he had a single top 10 and two top 15s.

Ryan Preece is the other returning driver at SHR. The 33-year-old has also seen a marked improvement in 2024, including two top 15s. This time a year ago, the No. 41 pilot had a single top 15, but more concerningly, also had three DNFs. He doesn’t have any this year.

While Josh Berry is a rookie in his first full-time season and there’s no data to compare, the fourth driver at SHR, Gragson, who joined the team in the offseason, has also shown improvement. Through six races, the 25-year-old has a pair of top-10 results, which is impressive when you consider in his previous 39 Cup races, including his 21 starts last year at Legacy Motor Club, he’s had just one. 

It’s quite apparent, as Briscoe mentioned, Stewart-Haas has had a changing of the guard. And based on the early-season results, it’s an improvement for the organization. Fans of the team are hoping the drivers can continue to get better and eventually convert those improved finishes into trips to Victory Lane. 

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