WATCH LIVE: Patriot Shootout at Millbridge
Welch will be piloting Chase Briscoe’s Micro Sprint during the two-day event, hoping to have some fun behind the wheel.
Before becoming a reporter, most notably as part of NASCAR coverage for the Motor Racing Network and NBC Sports, Welch competed frequently on dirt, particularly in the USAC ranks. Accustomed to the grind of battling for national recognition on the track, Welch has enjoyed working with Briscoe and crew chief Ty Sipes without the pressure of his past racing life.
We do it to have fun and get away from the grind of our real jobs. For me, it’s about having fun. I’ve raced Midgets and stuff for 10 years. Even over the last couple of years, we’ve raced USAC National stuff. I was frustrated with myself because I felt like I could do better than my results were showing. The USAC deal was so tough, it was taking the fun out of it for me.
While Briscoe now competes in the NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing, both he and Welch started out as dirt racers from Indiana. That common bond has led to plenty of conversations over time, hoping to find a way to combine their shared passion.
When Briscoe added a Micro Sprint to his stable, that opened the door for the two to finally work together, with Welch driving for Briscoe at Millbridge’s KKM Giveback Classic last November.
“Chase and I, both being Indiana guys and dirt racers first, we’d honestly be at the NASCAR tracks and talk about trying to get together and do something, whether it was his Midgets or Sprint Cars at the time. I don’t remember where we were at or when it happened, but he got this Micro last summer and brought it up in the course of one of our conversations. I don’t think Chase could run the Giveback for whatever reason, so he put me in it, and we ended up having a really good weekend out there. That set us up for this year.”
Welch finished sixth at the KKM Giveback Classic, and has had other strong runs at Millbridge in Briscoe’s No. 5 Micro Sprint since then. He will once again be in the car during this week’s HMS Motorsport Patriot Shootout presented by Osmond, and is feeling optimistic after Monday’s open practice.
“We practiced a little bit last night, just to shake the car down, and everything felt good. This is probably only my third or fourth Micro face I’ve ever run. Every time we go out, we’re learning what makes it go faster. I’m always appreciative of the chance to race with Chase Briscoe and Ty Sipes, our crew chief and co-owner of the car.”
Millbridge is the perfect fit for the Welch’s racing endeavors, allowing them to compete with top-notch drivers and teams without the pressure to perform every night.
“That’s the great thing about Millbridge. It’s competitive, they’ve obviously got a great group of guys and girls who show up every week. That part of it is good, but there’s no pressure from Chase or Ty. We do it to still get to race a dirt car. We show up and just go out, do the best we can. If it goes great, it’s great. If we struggle, so be it. There’s absolutely zero expectations on it. We just go out there and race.”
Race fans unable to attend the HMS Motorsport Patriot Shootout presented by Osmond can click here to watch live on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo