Briscoe Overcomes Spin To Collect Pocono Checkers

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Chase Briscoe crosses the finish line to win Sunday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo)
Chase Briscoe crosses the finish line to win Sunday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo)

LONG POND, Pa. – It wasn’t easy, but Chase Briscoe somehow found a way to collect his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the season on Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway.

In the second race of NASCAR’s tripleheader on Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Briscoe survived a chaotic event that included Briscoe getting a speeding penalty on pit road, cutting down a tire and spinning from the race lead with 22 laps to go.

Briscoe found himself in contention for the race win when several of the other contenders in the race, including Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier, wrecked while battling for position down the Long Pond Straightaway on lap 54.

After several cars in front of him pitted, Briscoe inherited the race lead for the ensuing restart on lap 58. He maintained that position during the restart and for several laps thereafter, but with 22 laps left Briscoe suddenly slowed as he approached turn two with a flat left-rear tire. The flat tire led to Briscoe spinning his Ford Mustang in turn two, but Briscoe kept his car out of the wall as the caution flag waved.

“It was really surprising. I didn’t have any warning of it or anything,” Briscoe said of the flat tire. “I was going down the short chute after turn one and all of a sudden it started pulling me to the infield and I heard stuff hitting the crush panels and everything else.

“I was trying to get out of the way of the leaders. I was worried I was going to spin out and come right up into them. I was lucky that it kind of finally blew out at the exit of the tunnel turn (turn two) instead of right in the middle of it.”

Briscoe’s spin gave the lead to Myatt Snider as several other competitors, including Ross Chastain, hit pit road for fresh tires. Racing resumed on lap 73 and Snider held serve through turn one, but Chastain rocketed from sixth on the restart up to second and quickly began challenging for the lead.

Meanwhile, Briscoe was marching his way back to the front. After restarting 11th, Briscoe quickly made his way back up to third and started to chase down Snider and Chastain as they engaged in a battle for the lead.

With 14 laps left Chastain got alongside Snider to challenge for the lead. They stayed side-by-side for nearly an entire lap, allowing Briscoe to close right up on them just as Chastain cleared Snider to take the lead out of turn three.

“The biggest issue was the 21 (Snider) and the 10 (Chastain) were kind of checked out and I didn’t know what they had tire wise,” Briscoe said. “I was hoping they’d get to racing and once they got to racing I was able to catch them so fast.”

Entering turn one with 12 laps left Briscoe dispatched Snider to take second and set off in pursuit of Chastain. For the next five laps Chastain and Briscoe engaged in war for the lead, with Briscoe briefly taking the lead from Chastain with 10 laps left only for Chastain to get the spot back shortly thereafter.

With eight laps left Briscoe got a run out of turn two to get to the inside of Chastain, allowing him to pull clear of Chastain through turn three to take the lead. At that point Briscoe slowly built a gap and appeared on his way to victory, but one final caution with six laps left for a crash involving Chad Finchum slowed the field and set up a green-white-checkered restart.

On the restart Chastain got a huge push from the damaged machine of third-place Allgaier, allowing him to regain the lead as the field roared into turn one. Briscoe gave chase in second and made his move in turn two, getting close enough to Chastain’s rear bumper to loosen Chastain up and cause him to slip up the track.

Briscoe quickly drove by Chastain to regain the lead. He quickly slipped away to earn the victory, his second with interim crew chief Scott Zipadelli on the pit box.

“Everything went our way today,” Briscoe said. “Obviously we still had the issues with speeding on pit road and the flat tire, but other than that everything worked out perfect.”

Chastain fell short of the victory in second, but for the second-straight week he pocketed $100,000 as the highest finishing eligible driver in the Dash 4 Cash program.

“We tried to do everything we could on the restart and still didn’t win,” Chastain said. “At different points if we had clean air we would be able to drive away from him honestly. Then we just got looser and looser and I’ve never been so loose through a turn and not crashed throughout an entire race.

“Turn two was, obviously, where we struggled the most (and) where he made the pass there. I was just hanging on and he was able to take advantage of that.”

Jeremy Clements finished a season-best third, with Snider roaring back up to fourth after pitting for tires prior to the final restart. Michael Annett completed the top-five at the checkered flag.

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