By David Morgan, Associate Editor
CONCORD, N.C. – A year ago, Chase Briscoe was celebrating his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win in Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after conquering the ROVAL. On Saturday, he looked to be gunning for a repeat trip, but ran into speed bumps along the way and had to settle for a ninth-place finish.
Starting on pole, Briscoe led every lap of Stage 1 en route to the stage win, flexing his muscles early on.
Briscoe continued his strong run with a runner-up finish in Stage 2 and set his sights on retaking the lead in the final stage before running into the issues that derailed his chances at the win.
While battling with Christopher Bell late in the race, the two ran side-by-side through the frontstretch chicane with Bell missing the chicane altogether during the battle. Despite the off-track excursion, Bell continued to race Briscoe into Turn 1-2, where the two made contact and Briscoe went for a spin on lap 59.
Briscoe fell back outside the top-10, while Bell was sent to the back of the field on the restart for missing the chicane and not stopping to acknowledge the miss per NASCAR’s directive.
When the green flag flew for the final restart with seven laps remaining, Briscoe powered back through the field, eventually cracking the top-10 and coming home in ninth.
“I felt like we had the car to beat all day long,” Briscoe said. “We were able to constantly come back through the field. We had to go for points obviously because of our situation and we were always able to get back. There at the end I felt like I still could have ran down AJ. I felt like we were really good on the long run and that’s kind of where he struggled. I don’t know.”
“I still haven’t seen a replay of what happened, so it’s hard for me to say. It always feel different, I feel like, than the way you actually see outside of the car, so I don’t know what happened. I felt like I was doing everything I could do try to win the race and knew that pass was crucial down there to try to have a shot to catch AJ and, like I said, I haven’t really seen it so I don’t know what happened.”
With one race remaining in the first round of the Xfinity Series playoffs, Briscoe heads to next weekend’s event at Dover sitting sixth in points, 35 points ahead of the cut-off line.