Short-handed Briscoe ral­lies for Xfin­ity win

He wins de­spite los­ing crew chief, car chief, engi­neer to penalty

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS -


HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Chase Briscoe lost three key mem­bers of his team but got a win for them.

De­spite two late cau­tions and a fran­tic over­time fin­ish, Briscoe pre­vailed in an Xfin­ity Se­ries race at Homestead-Mi­ami Speed­way — while adding to a night­mar­ish week­end for Noah Grag­son, who saw a huge lead slip away in the fi­nal laps for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day.

Briscoe was with­out crew chief Richard Boswell, car chief Nick Hutchins and engi­neer DJ Van­der­ley, all of whom be­gan serv­ing four-race sus­pen­sions for a safety vi­o­la­tion that hap­pened Satur­day. So Briscoe — a big Tony Ste­wart fan grow­ing up — got Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing com­pe­ti­tion di­rec­tor Greg Zi­padelli to fill in as his crew chief and pre­vailed.

“It’s just a tes­ta­ment to our team,” Briscoe said.

Bran­don Jones was sec­ond, Ross Chas­tain third and A.J. All­mendinger fourth. Grag­son placed fifth, los­ing not only a race that was in his hands for the sec­ond straight day but also the $100,000 “Dash For Cash” bonus that wound up go­ing to

All­mendinger in­stead.

“Guess we’ll go to Tal­ladega and do it again,” All­mendinger said.

With 15 laps to go, it was ba­si­cally down to a two-car race: Grag­son was lead­ing, about 2

1/2 sec­onds ahead of Briscoe. No­body else was within 10 sec­onds of the lead, a very sim­i­lar sce­nario to Satur­day when Grag­son had a huge lead over Dale


Xfin­ity Se­ries

Satur­day: Un­hinged 300,

5:30 p.m., FS1

Where: Tal­ladega Su­per­speed­way

Earn­hardt Jr. go­ing into the last laps be­fore a cau­tion tight­ened the field and gave Har­ri­son Bur­ton the chance to grab the win on the fi­nal lap.

Austin Cin­dric spun out and brought a late cau­tion, de­rail­ing Grag­son’s mo­men­tum and set­ting up the first of two over­time fin­ishes. Grag­son never had con­trol of the race again, and Briscoe wound up in vic­tory lane.

“The team did an un­be­liev­able job to set up the car,” Grag­son said. “We had the lead there at the

• • •

MON­DAY, JUNE 15, 2020 end . ... I have to start work­ing on my­self. That’s un­ac­cept­able by my stan­dards. These guys, they work their tails off and it’s not to run fifth. It’s to win these races.”

Con­di­tions were gru­el­ing, espe­cially af­ter most of the driv­ers in the field also com­peted in high heat and hu­mid­ity at Homestead on Satur­day. By the fi­nal por­tion of the race, the tem­per­a­ture at Homestead had climbed to 87 de­grees and the heat in­dex — how it feels when com­bin­ing the tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity — was near­ing the 100-de­gree mark.

It was the first time that the Xfin­ity Se­ries — by any of its names since it was first formed in 1982 — raced on con­sec­u­tive days at the same track, be­cause of the reschedul­ing caused by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The back-to-back at one track is sched­uled to oc­cur again July 9 and 10 at Ken­tucky.

This wasn’t, how­ever, the first time the se­ries has run on back-to-back days. It hap­pened three times pre­vi­ously at dif­fer­ent tracks — June 26, 1982, at South Bos­ton Speed­way and June 27, 1982, at Rock­ing­ham Speed­way; Sept. 3, 1983, at Hick­ory Mo­tor Speed­way and Sept. 4, 1983, at Dar­ling­ton Race­way; and Sept. 10, 1983, at Richmond Fair­grounds Race­way and Sept. 11, 1983 at North Wilkes­boro Speed­way.


Chase Briscoe cel­e­brates af­ter ral­ly­ing to win the Con­tender Boats 250 at Homestead-Mi­ami Speed­way. Noah Grag­son was stymied from an Xfin­ity week­end sweep at the track, as he held siz­able leads in each race in the wan­ing laps.

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