LAS VEGAS – He had to wait a little longer than he would have liked, but Chase Briscoe still got to celebrate a victory on Sunday evening at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After rain forced the postponement of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 following the completion of the first stage on Saturday, Briscoe was able to storm to his first victory of the season when the race resumed on Sunday evening.
“This is something I feel like we can do all year long and I’m just thankful I’m the one driving it,” Briscoe said of his Ford Mustang. “With a lot of the big three (Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick) moving up, it definitely creates an opportunity to kind of be that new guy. This is a good way to start off the season, especially on the West Coast.”
It looked as if it was going to be Briscoe’s friend and fellow Ford driver Austin Cindric who was going to be celebrating in in victory lane. Cindric took the lead from Justin Allgaier with 76 laps left and held the lead until a cycle of green flag pit stops started with 57 laps left.
Cindric was able to retain the lead during the pit stop cycle despite a valiant effort from Ryan Sieg, who ran as high as second during the race and challenged Cindric for position shortly after they both hit pit road.
Driving the No. 22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske, Cindric was still in the lead with Sieg and Briscoe following when the caution flag waved with 38 laps left after Myatt Snider spun following contact with Noah Gragson.
The resulting caution period allowed all of the leaders to hit pit road for fresh tires. Briscoe’s Stewart-Haas Racing team did their job, getting the Indiana native off pit road first ahead of Cindric and Sieg.
During the restart with 31 laps left Briscoe was able to hold serve over Cindric. Once in front he slowly pulled away, stretching his lead out to more than two seconds by the time the checkered flag waved.
“That was really a team win,” Briscoe said after the third victory of his career. “We were really good in the day light, but as soon as the sun went down it was just like in dirty air we weren’t very good. It’s so cool to get Ford Performance Driving School in victory lane.”
Cindric settled for second and acknowledged that track position was everything late in the race.
“Starting P1 on the restart definitely helps,” Cindric admitted. “It seemed like as it cooled off a little bit we got a little too tight and we didn’t quite keep up with the adjustments. Overall a great night for my MoneyLion Ford Mustang. Awesome to get Ford Performance a one-two.”
Briscoe and Cindric were driving the only Ford entries in the 36-car field.
Sieg finished third to earn the sixth top-five finish of his career and first on a 1.5-mile speedway. Gragson was fourth, followed by rookie Harrison Burton in fifth.