By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Despite an early accident, Chase Briscoe rebounded to earn a top-10 finish at Dover International Speedway.
Midway through the second stage, Briscoe’s No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang broke loose as he battled the No. 22 of Austin Cindric. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver spun off turn two on lap 78 and nosed into the inside wall. The impact damaged the splitter, knocked the toe out of alignment, and will force Briscoe to a back-up in Sunday’s Drydene 200.
The 25-year-old struggled for much of the remainder of the race. In the final stage, a long green flag run saw Briscoe slip a lap down. Before green flag pit stops could take place, a caution waved for B.J. McLeod. However, Briscoe was not in the free pass position.
Luckily for the Mitchell, IN native, another caution waved with 42 laps to go. That time Briscoe was the free pass car. On the restart he stormed forward after restarting at the tail-end of the field. Briscoe made quick work of Myatt Snider, Brandon Jones, and others.
In the closing laps, he swept by Brandon Brown before taking 10th from Jeremy Clements. When the checkered flag waved, Briscoe crossed the line as the final car inside the top-10.
“I was really loose already, and we got so tight with the 22 (Cindric) there off of two that it robbed the air off of me and spun me out so fast,” explained Briscoe. “It knocked the toe out and we were burying the splitter. The wheel was going from 11 o’clock to one o’clock and I was all but wrecking on the straightaway. To come back and run 10th is really good for our HighPoint.com Ford. Obviously, I want a lot more.
“With the way these last six or seven races have gone, we just haven’t been where we were earlier this year. I feel like we can get things turned around for tomorrow. We’ll go to a backup and, hopefully, it gets better.”
Handling was key throughout the 200-mile race. After starting 10th, Briscoe only managed to climb to eighth by the end of the first stage. In the second stage, he managed to gain positions but battled to maintain control of his car. Eventually the looseness of his car became too much to handle.
Although Briscoe will line-up sixth in Sunday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover following a 15-car invert, he likely will not start from that position. Crew chief Richard Boswell stated on the NASCAR on NBC broadcast that the team would go to a back-up car following Briscoe’s accident.
The 10th-place finish is the 11th top-10 finish for Briscoe this season. It is also the milestone 25th top-10 finish in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.
Briscoe remains second in points, 72 behind leader Cindric. He is locked into the playoffs via his five wins this season.
Photo by NKP / NKP Photo