By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
Despite bouncing off the wall early in the Alsco 300, Chase Briscoe rallied to earn a top-five finish at Kentucky Speedway.
Pit strategy at the start of the final stage put Briscoe’s No. 98 Ford Performance Ford Mustang in the lead. After he won the race on pit road, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 14 laps before the eventual winner, Cole Custer, snatched the lead. Briscoe slowly drifted backward.
Briscoe ultimately lost track position during green flag pit stops. After he dropped from third to fourth during the exchange, Michael Annett chased him down. Briscoe lost the position with under 10 laps remaining, relegating him to a fifth-place finish.
As Briscoe battled for a top-five position at the start of the second stage, he broke loose. As the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver exited turn two, the right rear tagged the outside wall, forcing the rest of the car into the wall. Luckily for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, the damage was minimal.
The pit strategy was exactly what Briscoe, who started ninth, needed. He finished the first stage in 10th and fell out of the top-10 due to the wall contact in the second stage. With passing at a premium, he held off much of his competition once up front.
The fifth-place finish is the seventh top-five for Briscoe this season and the eighth of his Xfinity Series career. The finish comes one week after the Mitchell, IN native was involved in mid-race accident at Daytona International Speedway last weekend.
The top-five finish moves Briscoe from 10th in the championship standings to eighth. He is 233-points behind points leader Tyler Reddick. Briscoe increased his gap over the cutoff for the playoffs, held by Brandon Jones, to 71-points.
In the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Championship Standings, Briscoe is now second, behind Noah Gragson by 38-points.