Chase Briscoe scores first career pole at first Gateway Cup race

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty 

Chase Briscoe wrote his name in the NASCAR history books Saturday morning by winning the first pole of his Cup career at the premiere visit of the NASCAR Cup Series to World Wide Technology Raceway. 

Also known as "Gateway" because of its proximity to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the sports complex is located about eight miles east of the Mississippi River in Madison, Illinois. The NHRA and IndyCar also race at the venue. 

Briscoe didn’t think the lap would hold up, stating, “I felt like (Tyler) Reddick or Joey (Logano) would be able to get us but we were able to hold it off. "

Despite the premium starting position, Briscoe has no illusions about how difficult the task in front of him is. “... it doesn't really matter if you don't run good on Sunday. That is what pays the points and what you came here to do, race, not qualify. Qualifying is just icing on the cake. I think we have a good car that is capable of winning tomorrow, we just have to put it all together and minimize our mistakes. That is something as a driver I haven’t done a good enough job of this year. Hopefully, we can put it all together tomorrow.”

Starting next to Briscoe on the front row is rookie Austin Cindric. On Row Two, Christopher Bell, who won a Camping World Truck race at the track in 2016, edged out Tyler Reddick by .118 seconds. 

Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin roll off from Row Three, followed by Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, rookie Harrison Burton, and Ross Chastain, who won the Truck race at Gateway in 2019. 

Other drivers in the field Sunday who have won at the track include: 

Kevin Harvick (NXS 2000, 2001 and NCWTS 2010)

Kyle Busch (NXS 2009)

Cole Custer (NCWTS 2015)

Justin Haley (NCWTS 2018) 

Brad Keselowski (NXS 2010) 

Martin Truex Jr. (NXS 2004)  

Bubba Wallace (NCWTS 2014) 

While Briscoe hails from Mitchell, Indiana, he still feels like this is a home race for him. “Outside of Indianapolis, this is definitely the closest race track to my hometown,” he explained. “It is only three or four hours. I have a lot of family here. My cousin married a guy from St. Louis so I have a lot of family in the area. It is cool to be here. I have a lot of folks here so hopefully, I can put on a show tomorrow. 

“It is super cool to be here. This is a cool race track and a cool area. There are a lot of really passionate race fans in the St. Louis area and a lot of great dirt tracks and race tracks in general… I said earlier to somebody that I couldn’t believe how many people were here for practice yesterday. We don't see that anywhere. There is definitely a buzz. It is cool to see the city get behind it and the race track has done a phenomenal job. This place has always been a nice facility and they went over the top to have the Cup Series here. I am looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully, it is a great race.” 

The NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 Presented by TicketSmarter is scheduled for 240 laps around the 1.25-mile paved oval track, with Stages 1 and 2 ending on Laps 45 and 140 respectively, beginning at  3:30 p.m. ET. 

Television coverage is on FS1 with pre-race coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET. 

Chase Briscoe scores first career pole at first Gateway Cup race Chase Briscoe scores first career pole at first Gateway Cup race Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Saturday, June 04, 2022 Rating: 5