Briscoe Notches Season Win No. 7 At Bristol

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 19 2020

Chase Briscoe will begin the Xfinity Series playoffs ranked No. 1.

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chase Briscoe believes a driver’s value is akin to the stock market, constantly fluctuating up and down, and after Friday’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway the Ford driver’s value was definitely on the upswing. 

Briscoe not only pushed his season victory total to seven with his narrow win over Ross Chastain, he also found himself the top seed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs that begin next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Briscoe received the No. 1 seed even though Austin Cindric won the regular season title and they were tied in points because the 25-year-old driver possessed the tie breaker.  

“I think everybody is going to do everything they can just to win Vegas, because they know they don’t want to deal with Talladega and The Roval the following two races,” Briscoe said. “I’d love to win that race more than any other probably this year.

“As far as I know, the plan is to take the same race car we ran there earlier in the year and pretty much the same setup, so we’ll see how it works in quite a bit hotter weather.” 

Briscoe’s first victory this year came at Las Vegas in the season’s second race in February. At one point this year, he recorded three wins in four events. However, he then hit a dry spell, claiming only one victory in a dozen races. 

I feel like you have one good run (and) everybody is on the Chase Briscoe train or the Austin Cindric train,” Briscoe said. “Then you have a bad race and people start forgetting about you and saying you’re not ready.  I don’t know if there’s ever really any true indicator that you’re ready.   

“My big thing right now is just trying to win as many races as I can.  I feel like if I can go out and keep winning races, then it allows me to keep driving race cars for a living and that’s my main focus, whether that’s in the Cup Series, the XFINITY Series, the Truck Series, whatever.  I just want to make a living driving race cars. Obviously, my goal is to make it to the Cup Series, but I want to do it in something competitive and if you’re winning races, it helps you get competitive rides.” 

And Friday night at the tough half-mile Bristol track, Briscoe definitely possessed a competitive ride. With six laps remaining in the 300-lap race, Briscoe snatched the lead from Cindric, whose Ford had suffered power steering failure. 

“It seemed like with about 15 to go our car just came to life compared to those front two guys (Cindric and Chastain) and I kind of found something on the race track and with my brake levers that really helped me quite a bit,” Briscoe said. “I just caught them so fast that I knew I had to make my move quick was the big thing. I could stay so much lower for longer amounts of time and really get good runs off, so I just felt like I needed to apply the pressure to them. That’s how I passed Austin. I had no idea that Austin had no power-steering until I just saw him a little bit ago.” 

Cindric said when his power steering began fading while he was leading he had “never felt so helpless in my entire life.”  

“I’ve never been in so much pain while driving a race car, and I’ve never probably felt so defeated after a race,” Cindric said. “I’ve never lost a race this way.  I mean, after a while your hands get numb, your arms get numb, your back gets numb and you’re still in the lead driving away, but there are 20 laps left.  

“Obviously, we’ve done a lot of hard work this year and to come into this race clinching the regular season (title), a lot of positives there.  We’ve positioned ourselves well for the playoffs and hope to take advantage of it.”

Joining the race’s top three finishers in the playoffs are Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Ryan Sieg, Michael Annett, Riley Herbst, and Brandon Brown. 

The first race in the Xfinity Series playoffs is Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m., ET.


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 19 2020
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