JOLIET, Ill. — With his most significant challenger gone from the mix, Chase Briscoe checked out on the competition, handily winning the SCOTT 150 Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
In the end, Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford, drove under the checkered flag a full seven seconds in front of second-place finisher John Wes Townley to earn his fifth ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory in his 20th series start.
“I’m so proud of these guys on this Cunningham Motorsports team,” Briscoe said. “It’s unbelievable where I was last year at this time, and now, to be here is beyond incredible. Just thanks to Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer for this amazing opportunity. Chad (Bryant/crew chief) brings great race cars…it just makes it that much easier.”
After Austin Cindric put four fresh General Tires on and drove around Briscoe late in the race (to get back on the lead lap), Briscoe learned that he too needed new tires to ensure the victory. Briscoe got the caution flag he was looking for when his biggest rival, Shane Lee, hit the wall after he cut a right-front tire on lap 72.
“It was huge to get those General Tires at the end. Once Cindric did it, he left us…that was the key.”
Briscoe also made it more difficult on himself when he overshot his pit box, costing him four positions for the late restart.
“That was just a rookie mistake. I can’t be doing that if I get the chance to move up. Glad I was able to get it back though.”
Back under green, Briscoe “got it back” in a hurry when he hooked up on the high-line and sailed around Christopher Bell and Townley, checking out from there with nary a challenge. Townley continued to fall back, but still managed to bring his No. 05 Jive Communications-Zaxby’s Chevrolet home in the runner-up position.
“We were tight the whole race,” Townley said. “We made some adjustments that helped but the 77 was in another league tonight; but he’s been that way all year. I’d like to thank all the guys on the team for a great job. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough. We gotta figure out something for the 77.”
Bell was also a contender in the end, but, like Townley, had nothing for Briscoe. Bell, in the No. 15 JBL Toyota, finished third after leading two laps.
“To finish third today was a win for our team,” Bell said. “We struggled all day with speed; but every pit stop my guys made huge swings and got it better. The goal was to get laps and get confident, and we accomplished that.”
Kyle Weatherman finished fourth in the No. 10 St. Charles Glass-Fast Track High Performance Ford.
“We just don’t give up till the end,” Weatherman said. “It was fun racing with Chris (Bell) at the end. We had a few things wrong with our car but we’ll get ’em at Kentucky.”
Dalton Sargeant finished fifth in the No. 55 Toyota Racing Development-Windows 10 Toyota.