Chase Briscoe out-dueled Christopher Bell to earn his first Xfinity Series win of the season at Iowa Speedway Saturday night.
It was the second career win in the series for the 24-year-old Stewart-Haas Racing driver and his eighth top five this year. Briscoe only led the last seven laps of the U.S. Cellular 250 in his No. 98 Ford, but they were the ones that mattered.
“It’s nice, for sure, to finally silence everybody,” Briscoe said. “We definitely still aren’t near where we need to be, but I feel like we’ve been way closer, these past couple of weeks especially.”
“We’ve still got to get better if we’re going to beat the big three (Bell, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer)But we’re slowly getting into the conversation to be that fourth guy,” he added.
Christopher Bell dominated most of the race after starting on the pole and leading 234 of the 250 laps. But he had to settle for a second-place finish after losing the lead on the final restart with only 22 laps remaining.
“To be able to hold him off as long as I did and not win the race stings,” Bell said, “It’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
John Hunter Nemechek finished third and led six laps. Noah Gragson and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, Shane Lee, Justin Haley, Zane Smith and Michael Annett finished sixth through 10th.
Cole Custer started the race in sixth place, finishing second in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2. But his car suddenly hit the outside wall and crashed with 90 laps remaining, relegating him a 29th place finish. It was his fourth DNF of the season. Custer, however, with five wins this year, retains his third-place ranking in the points standings.
When asked what happened, he told NBCSN, “I honestly couldn’t exactly tell you. I got really loose going into three and guess I over-corrected it into the fence. I’m really frustrated. I hate that we’re out (of the race).”
Three are seven races remaining in the regular season. Next Saturday the Xfinity Series heads to Watkins Glen International for the Zippo 200 at The Glen.
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