By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The timing of late race cautions allowed Ryan Sieg to gamble for the win in the Kansas Lottery 250.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway appeared to be a caution-free race, aside from the competition caution and stage breaks. With a 78-lap green flag run, Sieg stayed on track in his No. 39 CMRroofing.com Chevrolet Camaro SS. He had all but eight cars trapped one lap down until he pitted.
Although Sieg fell a lap behind during his pit stop, his fresh tires allowed him to almost immediately un-lap himself. He circulated just outside the top-10 until a caution waved with three to go for Joe Graf Jr. While the rest of the NASCAR Xfinity Series field pitted, Sieg gambled and remained on track to take the lead.
In the first attempt at overtime, Sieg spun his tires but was pushed to the lead by Harrison Burton. Burton and Austin Cindric blew by the RSS Racing machine before another caution waved. Reverting to the last scoring loop, Sieg returned to the top of the running order.
On the final overtime restart the Tucker, GA native launched forward, clearing his competition. However, on older tires, Sieg quickly lost the lead to Burton and Cindric. Brandon Jones also snuck by, dropping the 33-year-old to fourth. He held off fellow Chevrolet driver Ross Chastain to take the checkered flag in fourth.
Sieg took to Twitter to explain that he and his team needed that top-five finish:
We needed that! Had a strong car, lead a ton of laps and finished in the top 5. Never quit. Thank you everyone for supporting us. pic.twitter.com/umAzpv1Pet
— Ryan Sieg Racing (@RyanSiegRacing) July 26, 2020
Prior to the green flag pit cycle during the long green flag run, Sieg had not broken into the top-10. He started 16th following the random draw for the starting grid.
The fourth-place finish is the third top-five for Sieg this season and eighth of his Xfinity Series career. The driver for the family-owned team now has more top-five finishes in 2020 than he has had in a single season prior to this season.
The fourth-place finish also breaks a two-race streak of Sieg failing to finish due to suspension failures.
The top-five finish kept Sieg in 11th in the points standings, 34-points ahead of the playoff cutoff held by Brandon Brown. He is also 314-points behind leader Cindric.