Chase Briscoe speeds, spins and still wins Pocono Xfinity race
Chase Briscoe just about experienced it all on Saturday, including a trip to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway.
Briscoe overcame a pit road speeding penalty, spun out while leading at one point and used a nudge and pass of Ross Chastain with one lap remaining in overtime to win Saturday’s Pocono Green 225.
The is Briscoe’s fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, including two of the last three, and sixth of his career.
Chastain ended up second and came away with the final $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus of the season. Chastain claimed two of the four bonuses this season.
“We were really not that good at the beginning and we didn’t have the speed I really anticipated us to have here,” Briscoe said. “The guys kept working on it and getting it better and better. We had the lead there after I sped on pit road – I was little worried but a lot of the good cars got torn up and it made it a little easier to get back through the field.
“Racing Ross was pretty fun. He’s also one of the hardest guys to race against and pass.”
Asked how much concern he had when Chastain quickly grabbed the lead on the final restart, Briscoe said, “There was a ton of concern. I was really tight and I felt if I went to the bottom (lane) I’d get too tight on exit.
“When I was catching Ross, I knew his trouble was in (Turn 2), he was just so loose. I just tried to use that to my advantage. It was fun. We raced clean the whole time. It’s fun when you can do that.”
Jeremy Clements finished third, Myatt Snider was fourth and Michael Annett completed the top-five.
The Xfinity Series returns to action next Saturday for its first-ever race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, part of a NASCAR-IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend.
On Lap 48 of the scheduled 90 laps, Justin Haley got into Riley Herbst off Turn 3 and sent him into the wall to bring out a caution. NASCAR assessed a two-lap penalty to Haley for “aggressive driving,” deeming the act intentional.
Several cars elected to pit under the caution, but Chastain remained on the track and led the way when the race returned to green on Lap 53.
Noah Gragson got loose off Turn 1 following contact with Snider and then got into Daniel Hemric to bring the caution back out. Hemric then shot across the track and triggered a multi-car wreck that also collected Ryan Sieg, Justin Allgaier and Austin Cindric.
When the race returned to green on Lap 58, Briscoe was the new leader followed by Moffitt and Jesse Little.
With 25 laps to go in the race, Briscoe had built a 1.1-second lead over Snider with Chastain running third.
Briscoe spun off the exit of Turn 2 on Lap 69 after he apparently suffered a flat left-rear tire, Snider inherited the lead as a caution was displayed.
Most lead-lap cars elected to pit under the caution but Snider stayed out. On the restart on Lap 73, Snider was followed by Annett , Brett Moffitt, B.J. McLeod and Ryan Sieg.
With 14 laps to go, Chastain got around Snider to retake the lead as Briscoe moved back up to third.
On Lap 81, Briscoe was able to run down Chastain and reclaim the lead, only to see Chastain return the favor before the end of the lap.
Briscoe went back to the inside of Chastain on Lap 84 power his way back into the top spot.
Chad Finchum spun and hit the Turn 2 wall to bring out the ninth caution of the race and set up another dramatic finish.
A handful of drivers pit under the caution but Briscoe remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green in the two-lap overtime. Briscoe was followed by Chastain, Allgaier, Sieg and Moffitt.
Chastain took over the race lead for the restart, staying out despite being the only driver yet to make a stop.
Stage 1 winner Cindric charged back up through the field, taking third place from Gragson with seven laps to go in the second stage.
Chastain was able to hang on to the race lead for some time, but Allgaier was always close behind. With four laps to go in the stage, Allgaier got beside Chastain but was unable to complete the pass on the inside.
However, Chastain dove down pit road with three laps to go in the stage. Briscoe and Haley followed suit. Briscoe was caught speeding, putting him deep in the pack for the start of the final stage.
Allgaier took the stage win, followed by Cindric, Gragson, Hemric and Herbst.
Gragson led the field to the green flag and just like the Truck race before it, the field did not make it through the opening lap clean.
Brandon Jones, who won Sunday morning's Truck race, was sent spinning off the nose of Cindric and made hard contact with the backstretch wall.
The ensuing run did not last long as Josh Williams crashed along with Joe Graf Jr.
Cindric was able to make his way into the lead during the hectic restart that followed. Allgaier nearly lose control at the exit of Turn 1. A few laps later, Harrison Burton was not so lucky as he slammed into the inside wall on the backstretch, forcing a red flag for cleanup. Reports from drivers indicate that there may have been oil put down in that area of the track.
Several drivers took the opportunity to pit once the field was re-fired behind the pace. Cindric and Chastain did not, instead opting to maximize stage points.
On the final lap of the stage, Dash 4 Cash driver Alex Labbe spun and made contact with the inside wall out of Turn 1.
Cindric would win the stage under caution with Chastain, Allgaier, Snider, Briscoe, Gragson, Herbst, Haley and Hemric rounding out the top-ten.
|22||9||Noah Gragson||Chevrolet||90||1 lap||8|
|23||11||Justin Haley||Chevrolet||89||2 laps|
|24||74||Bayley Currey||Chevrolet||78||13 laps|
|25||5||Matt Mills||Chevrolet||73||18 laps|
|26||13||Chad Finchum||Toyota||73||18 laps|
|27||66||Stephen Leicht||Toyota||69||22 laps|
|28||8||Daniel Hemric||Chevrolet||52||39 laps|
|29||22||Austin Cindric||Ford||52||39 laps||11|
|30||44||Tommy Joe Martins||Chevrolet||44||47 laps|
|31||93||Jeff Green||Chevrolet||17||74 laps|
|32||20||Harrison Burton||Toyota||14||77 laps|
|33||68||Brandon Brown||Chevrolet||7||84 laps|
|34||92||Josh Williams||Chevrolet||4||87 laps|
|35||08||Joe Jr.||Chevrolet||4||87 laps|
|36||19||Brandon Jones||Toyota||0||91 laps|
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