With Matt Tifft under the weather for final Monster Energy Cup Series practice, Chase Briscoe took over the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the session.
In his first stint in a Cup car at Bristol Motor Speedway, Briscoe posted the 33rd fastest lap among 37 drivers.
“Speed-wise, it didn’t feel much different,” Briscoe said, comparing the Cup car to his usual NASCAR Xfinity Series ride. “I think it would have been harder in past years, for sure. But this (Cup) package, I feel, relates quite a bit to the trucks and Xfinity cars. It wasn’t a huge adjustment as far as how the car drove. It was just different how I sit in the car, obviously, after putting my adjustment in, in those first couple of laps.
“I sit so high in this car compared to what I’m used to, I couldn’t even see the exit of the corners. I had to try and lean down as much as I could to see. Little things like that were probably the biggest difference, but as far as how the car drives, they were pretty similar. At a place other than Bristol, maybe you’d feel it a little bit.”
Tifft visited the infield care center after opening practice and was to be reevaluated before Cup qualifying on Friday afternoon, leaving open the possibility that Briscoe could qualify the car and perhaps even race it in Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at the .533-mile high-banked short track (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCXAR Radio).
As it turned out, Tifft was cleared medically and back in the car for Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, letting Briscoe off the hook from a double-duty weekend.
“I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to run 500 laps, if I have to do it,” said Briscoe, who subsequently qualified sixth for Friday night’s Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. “Three hundred laps is a long time, let alone 500….
“It’s pretty cool. I never thought in a million years I’d ever get to drive a Cup car, an Xfinity car or even a Truck. It’s pretty neat that I got to do this today. That’s for sure.”