Briscoe secures spot in Xfinity championship finale with Kansas win
Chase Briscoe led a dominating 159 of 200 laps to win his file ninth NASCAR Xfinity Collection race Saturday night time, the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. And whereas the 25-year outdated Hoosier turned in a dominating effort, the race – an important chapter within the 2020 Playoff run – was dramatic in a number of methods.
Briscoe’s No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in the end edged Daniel Hemric’s JR Motorsports Chevrolet by 1.199-seconds to earn the win – his nine-trophy single season tally essentially the most ever by an Xfinity Collection common. Simply as importantly, the victory offers Briscoe an computerized place within the Championship 4 spherical to resolve the season title on Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.
“Tremendous pleased to lock into Phoenix, it’ll be so much much less annoying the following two weeks,” Briscoe mentioned smiling. “That’ll be good. Can’t say thanks sufficient to everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing, this Ford Efficiency Racing College Mustang was lights out.”
Fellow Playoff driver Ryan Sieg, driving for his family-owned group, completed third, main the race with 23 laps remaining and making a daring Playoff assertion in his first look on this spherical of championship competitors.
Justin Haley and Austin Hill rounded out the highest 5. Josh Williams, Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett, Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier accomplished the highest 10. It was definitely an general spectacular night time for Moffitt, who received the NASCAR Gander RV & Open air Truck Collection race on the 1.5-mile Kansas observe an hour earlier than the Xfinity Collection inexperienced flag dropped.
Whereas Playoff drivers resembling Briscoe, Sieg, Haley, Jones and Allgaier turned in a productive opening race to the Spherical of 8, it was a a lot totally different night time for fellow title contenders Ross Chastain (completed twelfth), common season champion Austin Cindric (completed twenty eighth) and Noah Gragson (completed thirty sixth).
Chastain’s effort was impressed contemplating his No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet was dinged up in a number of incidents on the night time. Cindric and Gragson had been concerned in a big multi-car accident whereas the sphere was racing three and four-wide originally of the race. Cindric’s Workforce Penske group was in a position to restore his No. 22 Ford Mustang sufficient to proceed to show laps, albeit properly out of competition. Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was too closely broken to proceed.
The result’s an enormous turnaround within the Playoff factors standings. Cindric and Allgaier got here into Saturday night time’s race ranked second and fourth among the many eight championship-eligible drivers, however their misfortune at Kansas price them considerably.
Cindric is now fourth, with solely a slight two-point benefit over Haley. Gragson fell to eighth among the many eight drivers and is now 33 factors earlier than the cutoff line because the collection heads to Texas Motor Speedway for subsequent week’s O’Reilly Auto Components 300 (4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Allgaier moved to second place – simply behind Briscoe and has an 11-point edge on fifth place. Jones, the two-time defending Kansas winner, is now ranked third, 9 factors up on Haley. Chastain (-12), Sieg (-17) and Gragson (-33) spherical out the Playoff standings heading to the Lone Star state.
“We had been within the center, four-wide and it’s robust,” Gragson mentioned after being checked within the observe’s Infield Care Middle. “All of us get crowded off Flip 2 on the restart. It’s a bummer and positively irritating. However we had been racing for the lead, only a racing deal.
“We’ve acquired good pace at Texas prior to now so I’m assured about that and we’re additional motivated,” he added. “That’s the advantage of these Xfinity Playoffs. You don’t wish to have a nasty race however in case you do, it permits you to rebound. We’re going to have our heads held excessive this week.”
Some of the dramatic components of the race concerned a multi-car accident on a restart with 28 laps remaining. Whereas racing among the many top-10 for place RCR driver Anthony Alfredo’s No. 21 Chevrolet took a tumble on observe and ended up the wrong way up. The race was red-flagged because the NASCAR security crew instantly got here to Alfredo’s rescue, fastidiously righting the automotive and serving to Alfredo out. He walked to the ambulance and spoke to reporters minutes later.
“That was the craziest factor I’ve ever skilled and positively reveals how briskly issues occur in racing,” Alfredo mentioned. “I’m simply glad to be okay and first off, I’ve acquired to thank the NASCAR security crew for being there instantly earlier than I even realized it was over.
“It was simply racing laborious. We had an especially quick Chevrolet Camaro tonight.
“I’m very grateful for the protection group, our protected race automobiles and all the protection gear that goes into protecting drivers protected within the race automobiles.”