ROSSBURG, Ohio – Chase Briscoe held off ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger in a frenetic, overtime photo finish to win Wednesday night’s sixth-annual Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway.
Briscoe started third after winning his heat race and ran among the leaders all night, winning the second stage of the 150-lap feature, but it wasn’t until the late laps of the final stage that his No. 27 Ford F-150 came to life.
California young gun Logan Seavey led the field to green with 59 to go after staying out during the second stage break, while Briscoe pitted for fresh tires and restarted 13th when racing resumed.
As the Indiana sprint car ace slowly and methodically worked his way through traffic, Seavey slowly and methodically extended his lead over the field, opening up a margin of more than four seconds inside of 40 to go while Briscoe, Enfinger and Stewart Friesen put on a three-truck show for the runner-up spot.
Just as Seavey’s No. 51 Mobil 1 Toyota was looking comfortable out front, however, a late yellow flag waved with 21 laps left when Austin Wayne Self and Tyler Dippel tangled.
That set up the first in a sequence of restarts in which Seavey, the young rookie looking for his first-career Truck Series win in his debut appearance, ultimately lost out due to his 50-lap older tires.
Seavey was dynamite on the first restart with 14 to go, pulling away off the top groove as the front-runners stacked up four-wide to his inside entering turn one, but a crash involving Todd Gilliland and Myatt Snider back in the pack turned the yellow lights on once more and set Briscoe up to the inside of the front row for another restart.
When the green flag waved with five circuits remaining, Briscoe timed the restart perfectly and pounced with a big slide job on Seavey entering the first turn, pulling away as Seavey faded on the outside and dropped into the clutches of Enfinger and Friesen.
A multi-truck incident in the back of the pack moments later set up an overtime finish, with Briscoe electing the inside and Enfinger lining up to the outside for a two-lap dash for glory and a Golden Shovel.
Though Enfinger tried to pinch Briscoe down for the entire overtime sprint, Briscoe was able to power off the final corner despite banging doors with his teammate and cross the line in front by a quarter-car length to score his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win.
The official margin of victory was .038 of a second.
The win was also Briscoe’s second in a row in the Truck Series, after winning the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Brad Keselowski Racing and not making a start since until Wednesday.
Briscoe had doubts about his chances to win all the way until he took the checkered flag, even after taking the lead away from his protégé Seavey.
“I was worried to death. I was telling my team manager, Tracy Hines, ‘I don’t think I can do this,’” Briscoe admitted in victory lane. “I thought track position was way too big at the time and honestly, without that caution, I never would have even had a chance to win the race because Logan was way too far out there. Luckily, I started on the inside on the second to last restart and I found something that I was able to use on the final restart.”
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