Chase Briscoe will miss Kevin Harvick for several reasons when his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate hangs up the helmet at year’s end. There will be no easy daily access to the veteran’s wisdom, whether it’s a question about racing or business.
The young driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is honored to be on the list of teammates the future Hall of Famer had in his career. As Briscoe has climbed the ranks, he said it’s been huge for him to watch what makes Harvick tick, getting a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most successful drivers in the Cup Series.
But as change comes to SHR, so does opportunity.
“As he steps out, and Aric [Almirola] is probably not going be around much longer either, I’m going be the longest-tenured guy at SHR,” Briscoe said. “So as weird as that sounds, I definitely have been trying to take in as many mental notes as I can of how Kevin takes that leadership role. For me to be teammates with a guy (like that), I really don’t think it could have worked out any better for me.”
Harvick retires after this season, his 23rd in the Cup Series, while Almirola returned for another go around after initially saying he was done at the end of 2022. The expiration date on Almirola’s career has been extended for an indeterminate amount of time as he’s found a new love of the sport and a better home and work balance.
For Briscoe, his career is still in the infancy stages. A rough rookie season in 2021, where the No. 14 team had to battle through limited track time, gave way to a breakout in 2022 with a victory at Phoenix Raceway and a run into the Round of 8.
It may take for Briscoe to become the guy at Stewart-Haas, but he will use it wisely. There is still plenty the 28-year-old can learn.
“I think you figure it out, but at least for me, I pay attention to how Kevin does it,” said Briscoe. “Me and Kevin’s personalities are two totally different personalities, and how Kevin gets a point across is totally different of how I get a point across. It’s something I’ve talked to him about. I’m not like how he is in certain situations, so how can I get the same point across that you’re trying to get across?
“He’s told me things and just being able to be behind closed doors with him in meetings and things like that…just (seeing) how he operates. I think he does such a good job of always circling back to the point. He might go 100 different directions, but he always ends and gets his point across, so I’m just trying to take as many of those notes as I can of how he does it and how he leads because he is the leader at our company and has been able to steer the ship for a really long time.
“When he’s gone, somebody is going to have to take over that role, whether that’s me or not. If it is me, I want to be prepared for that because it’s going to be a crucial point for our organization… When you lose a guy like Kevin, who is a Hall of Famer, you can kind of get spiraled off pretty quickly when you don’t have his leadership there, so I’m just trying to figure out what I can do to try to steer the ship in the same direction that we’ve been going.”