Photo courtesy IMSA

After Eldora victory, Chase Briscoe sets sights on Lime Rock this weekend

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Courtesy IMSA Wire Service

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Less than 48 hours after his thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Eldora Speedway, Chase Briscoe is already back behind the wheel of a racecar. This time, it’s the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
After making a quick stop back home in Mooresville, N.C. to drop off his Golden Shovel from Eldora, Briscoe made his way up to Lakeville, Conn. forSaturday’s Lime Rock Park 120. Briscoe’s smile on Friday was still as big as when he was interviewed in Victory Lane on Wednesday night.
“It was a heck of a race,” said Briscoe. “We ran around there two inches apart for two laps in a row, coming to the checkered beating and banging a little bit and beat him by a couple inches. It meant so much to me personally to win Eldora, being a dirt sprint car guy and going to watch races there since I was five years old.”
It was only the second start at Eldora for Briscoe and his second consecutive Truck Series victory, with his last coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, 2017. The win was even more sentimental as Briscoe’s grandfather previously competed at the famous dirt track.
Yet entering this weekend at Lime Rock alongside co-driver Scott Maxwell, it’s hard to find a similarity between the 1.55-mile road course in Connecticut and the half-mile dirt track in Ohio. Adding more diversity to the mix, Briscoe competed in a sprint car race in Illinois last weekend.
“Three totally different racetracks, racecars and disciplines,” said Briscoe. “(Lime Rock) is definitely way more narrow than I thought it was going to be and a lot more hilly. It’s been an adjustment to get used to and obviously, jumping from car to car takes a little bit. I still don’t feel like I’m where I need to be, but I’ve got a really good team and teammate to help me get there.”
Briscoe’s jump between the Continental Tire Challenge, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a result of his involvement in the Ford Driver Development Program. Following Lime Rock – his fifth Continental Tire Challenge start of the season – Briscoe’s remaining race in IMSA this year will be in the finale at Road Atlanta.
“This whole thing has been really big for me personally,” said Briscoe. “I feel like the road courses were something I really struggled with. … I feel like Mid-Ohio (in May, the third race of the season) was really the first race where I felt like I knew what I was doing and was capable to run up front and that showed last week at (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) too.
“I’m excited to finally see how it’s going to correlate over. I get to run the XFINITY car on the road course next month at Mid-Ohio and it’s going to be the balance to see where I judge at.”
In the meantime, Briscoe is soaking up every moment in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock and is especially hoping to deliver a win for his team, which has seen its fair share of bad luck this season.
“We really need to get a win and turn this season around,” said Briscoe. “It’s been fun coming over here and learning. This is a totally different atmosphere too than what I’m used to, so that’s been really cool to see. I’ve gotten to go to a lot of racetracks that I never thought I’d get to go to.”
Briscoe will make his first start at Lime Rock Park at 11:10 a.m. ET on Saturday. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv.

IndyCar: Ed Carpenter Racing signs Ed Jones for road, street course races in 2019

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2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Ed Jones has signed on to compete in IndyCar road and street course races in 2019 for Ed Carpenter Racing, the team announced Wednesday.

Jones replaces Jordan King at ECR, whose contract was not renewed for 2019.

“Joining Ed Carpenter Racing and Scuderia Corsa for the 2019 IndyCar Series is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of,” Jones said in a media release.

Jones will also drive a third car for ECR in the 2019 Indianapolis 500, making it 13 races of the 17-race IndyCar schedule that he’s due to compete in.

“Ed Carpenter Racing has shown amazing speed the last few years at the Indianapolis 500,” Jones said. “You can always expect the ECR cars to be at the front. I am really grateful for this chance and will do everything I can to make sure we, as a team, make the most of it.”

In addition, Las Vegas-based Scuderia Corsa will become a partner with ECR on Jones’ No. 20 Chevrolet (as well as the No. 64 Chevy he’ll drive in the Indy 500).

“Both ECR and Scuderia Corsa have been successful in their respective series and I feel the combination of forces will be greatly beneficial,” Jones said. “I’m extremely excited to get underway.”

Jones will yield driving duties in the No. 20 Chevy for four races to team owner Ed Carpenter on oval tracks, while Spencer Pigot returns as the team’s full-time driver in the No. 21 Chevrolet.

“I am very excited to welcome Ed Jones to the ECR family, as well as Scuderia Corsa and Giacomo (Scuderia Corsa co-founder Giacomo Mattioli),” Carpenter said. “I was very surprised when Ed became available at the end of the season. I look forward to working together to get ECR back in Victory Lane.”

The 23-year-old Jones, who hails from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, previously drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2018 (finished 13th in the final season standings) and Dale Coyne Racing in 2017 (finished 14th). He won the Indy Lights championship in 2016, as did new teammate Pigot in 2015.

During the 2018 season, Jones had two podium finishes (Long Beach and Belle Isle II) and eight top-10 finishes in the 17-race campaign.

Since forming in 2012, Scuderia Corsa has earned more than 100 wins over numerous racing platforms, primarily sports-car based. However, it made its first foray into IndyCar racing by backing Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and driver Oriol Servia’s effort in the 2018 Indy 500.

Jones began his new job with ECR immediately, watching new boss Carpenter take part today (Wednesday) in a closed Firestone tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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