Briscoe rallies from penalty to win at Homestead in overtime

From a penalty to victory lane in a span of two days, Chase Briscoe outlasted the field in two overtime attempts to claim a thrilling win in the Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the second of a series doubleheader weekend in Miami. It was his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series career victory and third of this season.

The win was also Briscoe’s first with interim crew chief and veteran Greg Zipadelli, who filled in for the suspended Richard Boswell after Briscoe’s team was penalized for a fallen ballast off of Briscoe’s car prior to yesterday’s series race at Homestead. In addition to crew chief Boswell, car chief Nick Hutchins and engineer D.J. Vanderley were also suspended for the next four series races.

The starting lineup was based on the results from Saturday’s event at Homestead, where the top-15 finishers from Saturday were inverted for Sunday’s race and the remaining spots were placed in the finishing order from Saturday. New additions were placed at the rear of the field. With his 15th-place result on Saturday, Myatt Snider started on pole position and was joined on the front row by Brandon Brown. Daniel Hemric, Carson Ware and Jairo Avila Jr. started at the rear of the field due to driver changes along with Justin Allgaier and Kody Vanderwal, both racing in backup cars. Noah Gragson also started at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments.


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When the green flag dropped, Snider received a boost from Justin Haley on the inside lane to jump to the lead. By the time Snider led the first lap, Ross Chastain moved into second and was able to take the lead the following lap. Briscoe, who started ninth, moved into second and three laps later, Austin Cindric raced into third.

On Lap 8, Briscoe made a move on the inside lane in Turn 1 and took the lead from Chastain. Three laps later, Cindric took the lead and was able to stabilize his lead to a comfortable margin over Briscoe. Cindric was able to maintain the lead by nearly two seconds over Brandon Jones and Briscoe when the field reached the competition caution on Lap 20. At the time of caution, Harrison Burton was in seventh after starting 15th with teammates Gragson and Allgaier were in sixth and eighth after both started at the rear of the field. Alfredo was in 10th after starting 12th and Hemric and Allmendinger were in 12th and 16th after starting at the rear of the field. Snider and Brown had fallen back to 11th and 29th. Under the competition caution, a majority of competitors remained on the track while some like Ryan Sieg and Riley Herbst pitted for early adjustments.

The race restarted on Lap 24, and Cindric retained the lead after receiving a strong start on the inside lane. Briscoe, who restarted on the outside lane, was shuffled back to fifth as Jones, Burton and Haley moved up the leaderboard along with Allgaier. By Lap 31, while most of the competitors continued battling for positions, Sieg, who restarted in 22nd but on fresh tires, had charged all the way up to second. The caution flew a lap later when Caesar Bacarella and Tommy Joe Martins wrecked on the backstretch. Under caution, the leaders remained on the track while a few including Chastain and Michael Annett pitted.

When the race restarted with four laps remaining in the first stage, a four-wide battle for the lead took place between Cindric, Sieg, Jones and Allgaier through Turns 1 and 2 before Sieg took the lead in Turn 3. Sieg was able to pull away from the field and win the first stage on Lap 40 for his second stage win in two days and by nearly two seconds over Annett, who made a miraculous charge after pitting prior to the restart. Cindric, Jones and Allgaier finished in the top five followed by Gragson, Burton, Hemric, Timmy Hill and Bayley Currey.  

Under the stage break, the leaders pitted and Cindric led Jones, Burton, Gragson and Annett. Sieg and Allgaier, both of whom pitted in the top three, fell back to 20th and 23rd after both had issues on pit road, where Allgaier clipped a tire out of Sieg’s pit box while entering his own pit box and then had issues exiting his pit stall while backing up to avoid making contact with Jeffrey Earnhardt. Chastain, who pitted in the closing laps of the stage, remained on track and assumed the lead.

The second stage started on Lap 47 and Jones went three-wide with Chastain and Cindric to take the lead entering Turn 1. Four laps later, Cindric returned to the lead. By Lap 55, Cindric stretched his advantage to more than a second over Jones who was locked in a four-car battle with Hemric, Gragson and Burton. Two laps later, Hemric moved into second as Briscoe joined the battle. Their battle allowed Cindric to continue to extend his advantage to over two seconds through Lap 60. 

As the race progressed, Gragson moved into second followed by Burton, Briscoe and Jones while Hemric had fallen back to sixth ahead of Allmendinger. Allgaier was in ninth while Sieg was stuck in 26th.

On Lap 68, Gragson took the lead from Cindric and started to rocket away from the field while using the outside lane toward the wall to his advantage. Just like the majority of yesterday’s Xfinity race at Homestead, Gragson remained uncontested and cruised to the win of the second stage on Lap 80. Cindric finished second, trailing by nearly four seconds, followed by Jones, Briscoe and Hemric. Burton, Allgaier, Annett, Alfredo and Allmendinger finished in the top 10. Under the stage break, the leaders pitted and Gragson retained the lead followed by Briscoe, Burton, Hemric and Cindric.

The final stage started with 78 laps remaining and Gragson received a bump from Burton on the inside lane to retain the lead. Two laps later, Cindric raced his way back to second followed by Briscoe while Burton, Hemric and Jones battled for fourth. Six laps later, Cindric reassumed the lead, where he started to stretch his advantage by more than a second over Gragson, who was challenged by Briscoe for the runner-up spot.

With 60 to go, Gragson raced his way back to the lead after Cindric scrubbed the wall. The damage cut Cindric’s right-rear tire as he was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop to address the flat tire. Once Cindric returned to the track, he was in 23rd, a lap behind, while Gragson was ahead by more than three seconds over Briscoe and nearly seven seconds over Hemric, Jones, Allgaier, Burton and Herbst.

With 50 to go, Gragson stabilized his lead to above four seconds over Briscoe while Jones, Burton and Hemric continued battling for third while behind by more than 10 seconds. Soon after, green-flag pit stops commenced as teammates Chastain and Haley pitted. During the green-flag pit stops, Allgaier was slowing his car to make the left-hand turn to pit road right in front of teammate Hemric, which caused Hemric to lock up his front brakes and circle around the track for another lap to make his stop, which cost him time from the lead. Once nearly the entire field pitted, Josh Williams emerged with the lead before pitting a lap later and allowing Cindric to take the lead. Two laps later, Gragson reassumed the lead as he started to pull away.

With 20 to go, Gragson, who continued rim-riding toward the outside wall, was ahead by over three seconds over Briscoe and 11 seconds over Cindric. Teammates Jones and Burton were locked in a heated battle for fourth while Hemric was back in sixth. During this time, Allgaier made an unscheduled pit stop after sustaining a flat tire from scrubbing the wall. Alfredo also pitted after making contact with the wall.

With 10 to go, Briscoe narrowed the deficit to less than two seconds over Gragson, who slowly started to approach lapped traffic but remained running toward the outside near the wall. A few laps later, Burton made an unscheduled pit stop due to a flat tire which ended his hopes to win twice in two days. 

In the final five laps, Briscoe started to close toward Gragson, cutting his deficit to less than a second, but he soon made contact with the wall, which allowed Gragson to stabilize his advantage back to over a second. 

Just as Gragson was about to take the white flag to start the final lap, Cindric wrecked in Turn 3 after cutting a right-rear tire, which drew the caution and set the race into overtime. Under caution, the leaders pitted and Briscoe beat Gragson off pit road first following a stellar pit stop. Hemric exited third followed by Jones, Herbst and Annett.

In the first overtime attempt, Briscoe maintained the lead and Jones took second away from Gragson. The caution quickly returned for a multi-car wreck in Turn 2 that started when Allmendinger got into the back of Herbst, sending Herbst and Annett against one another toward the outside wall while Hemric was clipped and made head-on contact with the inside wall as everyone else scattered to avoid the wreckage.

In the second overtime attempt, Briscoe and Jones battled for the lead while Gragson made contact with the outside wall in Turn 2 and fell back to the top 10. On the final lap, Briscoe was able to clear Jones for the lead and hold off the Georgia native for one final circuit and by 0.072 seconds at the finish line to win the race and to become the first three-time winner of the series this season.

“Just a testament to our team,” Briscoe said on MRN (Motor Racing Network). “Yesterday, we were so good and today, I don’t know what our deal was. We were still good, but we weren’t near as good as we were yesterday. I don’t know if it was the heat or what. We were able to find some speed up on the top [lane] that last run. I just kept trying to run the fence harder and harder and harder. I knew that if I could get to Noah, I felt like I’d put enough pressure on him after running him down the straightaway that he would make mistakes. With two [laps] to go, I was just trying to get more and more and more, and I was already on the edge. The caution, absolutely, fell perfect. The pit crew did an unbelievable job to get us upfront. Definitely a team win. [Jones] had a big run coming off of [Turn] 4 just because I drove it in so deep on the bottom so he could get to me. It almost cost me. It’s pretty dang cool for me, growing up a die-hard Tony Stewart fan to get a win with [crew chief] Zippy. That’s pretty cool. Happy that we can get our Ford Performance Racing School car in victory lane. We, definitely, weren’t the best car today, but I felt like we were yesterday. It’s nice to get some redemption.”

Jones finished second followed by Chastain while Allmendinger beat Gragson for fourth and claim the second Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus. With his accomplishment, Allmendinger became the 12th different driver to win the $100,000 bonus from the Dash 4 Cash program in the last five seasons.

“We fought hard trying to figure out how to make the car better,” Allmendinger said on MRN. “At the end, we made it the best, but we were still about a ninth-place car. I fought hard to get Ellsworth Advisors $100,000, for Chevrolet, ECR, LeafFilter Gutter Protection, for sure. Can’t thank Xfinity enough for all they do and I guess we get to go to Talladega and do it again, right?!”

The fifth-place result did very little to satisfy Gragson after dominating both Xfinity races in Miami and to fall short in the closing laps.

“[I’m] Gonna have to start working on myself because that’s unacceptable on my standards,” Gragson said on MRN. “[Crew chief] Dave Elenz and the rest of the team, they did an unbelievable job to set up the car. We had the lead there at the end and the caution [fell] with a lap and a half to go. These guys, they work their tails off and it’s not to run fifth. It’s to win these races. Gonna keep on focus, keep positive. Super thankful for this team and them sticking behind me. Gonna keep working on myself and try to be better next time, just learn from the opportunity and just take the positives from today.”

Allmendinger, Brisoce, Jones and Chastain will contend for the third Dash 4 Cash bonus next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Haley, Snider, Burton and Herbst finished sixth through ninth and as the only competitors to finish on the lead lap while Cindric, the first car a lap down, finished 10th.

The race featured 20 lead changes with eight different leaders. There were six cautions for 28 laps.

Gragson retained the lead in the Xfinity Series regular-season standings by 18 points over Briscoe and 45 over Burton.

Results:

1. Chase Briscoe, 11 laps led

2. Brandon Jones, five laps led

3. Ross Chastain, 11 laps led

4. AJ Allmendinger

5. Noah Gragson, 81 laps led, Stage 2 winner

6. Justin Haley

7. Myatt Snider, one lap led

8. Harrison Burton

9. Riley Herbst

10. Austin Cindric, one lap down, 60 laps led

11. Anthony Alfredo, one lap down

12. Josh Williams, one lap down, one lap led

13. Joe Graf Jr., one lap down

14. Colin Garrett, one lap down

15. Jesse Little, one lap down

16. Jeffrey Earnhardt, one lap down

17. Colby Howard, one lap down

18. Michael Annett, one lap down

19. Ryan Sieg, two laps down, seven laps led, Stage 1 winner

20. Tommy Joe Martins, two laps down

21. Chad Finchum, two laps down

22. Justin Allgaier, three laps down

23. Alex Labbe, three laps down

24. Matt Mills, three laps down

25. Timmy Hill, three laps down

26. Bayley Currey, four laps down

27. Jeremy Clements, four laps down

28. Carson Ware, four laps down

29. Vinnie Miller, four laps down

30. Caesar Bacarella, six laps down

31. Daniel Hemric – OUT, Crash

32. Stefan Parsons, 26 laps down

33. Kody Vanderwal – OUT, Power steering

34. B.J. McLeod – OUT, Clutch

35. Kyle Weatherman – OUT, Fire

36. Brandon Brown – OUT, Overheating

37. Ja Junior Avila – OUT, Electrical

38. Stephen Leicht – OUT, Handling

Next on the Xfinity Series schedule is Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, which will occur on June 20 at 5:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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