Briscoe weighs in on Bell’s ‘pretty funny’ loose lips

Chase Briscoe was as shocked as everyone else when Christopher Bell accidentally blurted out his future teammate’s name Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“I thought that it changed a lot of things, I think, in the silly season,” Briscoe said.

“I need to call [Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick] now that the No. 9’s opened up! It changes a lot of things. That’s a domino that nobody really saw coming.”

He was joking, of course.

Bell accidentally let slip that he’d be joined by “Chase” when asked about leadership roles at Joe Gibbs Racing. In doing so he was referring to Briscoe — the favorite to replace retiring Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 19 Toyota — not Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott. But without an official announcement, Briscoe and others have been having fun with the news.


Elliott’s teammate, Kyle Larson, quickly joked that he was leaving after Bell’s flub. Briscoe was busy racing a sprint car next door at The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and didn’t chime in, but when he arrived for qualifying on Saturday the Hoosier was quickly asked for his take on Bell’s silly season spoiler.

“I just kind of laughed at it; I thought it was pretty good,” Briscoe said. “Typical Christopher. It was pretty funny.

“I mean, I [feel] like everybody kind of knows what’s going on, right? I don’t know. I think the official announcement — whenever that is — hopefully we can have something official soon, but I wasn’t really mad at it. It was kind of funny, I thought.”

Landing at Joe Gibbs Racing is a big break for Briscoe, who could have been left on the outside looking in with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) closing shop at season’s end. Three of the team’s four charters are expected to be sold, with the fourth being kept by current co-owner Gene Haas for a slimmed down operation called Haas Factory Team.

With veteran Kevin Harvick now retired, Briscoe is arguably SHR’s best driver. The 29-year-old currently leads the company at 17th in the championship standings, four spots ahead of rookie Josh Berry and well clear of Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece. He’s also the only driver on the team with a Cup win, having prevailed at Phoenix Raceway in 2022 to clinch a playoff berth he parlayed to a gritty Round of 8 run.

Should he take over the No. 19 Toyota as planned, Briscoe will arrive at a team with greater expectations. Truex has earned 15 wins and made two Championship 4 appearances in the past five years. He won the regular season title just last year.

Story originally appeared on Racer