Chase Briscoe was six laps down at the start of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. He had a ballast fall off his No. 98 Ford which also cost him suspensions of several key members of his Stewart-Haas Racing team.
Despite a rough start, he rebounded to make up all six laps and to earn a top 10. On Sunday, he didn’t have to start the race off multiple laps down and as a result, he was celebrating in victory lane.
Briscoe, held off Brandon Jones and all three Kaulig Racing drivers en route to his third win of the 2020 season and fifth of his career.
“That was a team win for sure,” Briscoe told FS1. “Yesterday, we were so good and then today, I don’t know if it was the heat or what, we just weren’t very good. We were decent on the long run, but (Gragson) was definitely better.”
But, Briscoe shouldn’t have been the one in victory lane. For the second straight day, Noah Gragson had the car to beat. The JR Motorsports driver combined to lead 48-percent of the laps in the doubleheader weekend but cars away with no trophies.
Gragson, led a race-high 83 of 167 laps on Saturday and was well on his way to his third win of the season in the Hooters 250. Unfortunately, a caution came out with five to go on Saturday and eliminated his 5+ second lead.
On Sunday, his No. 9 Chevrolet was pacing the field yet again at the end of the race, this time seconds ahead of the field and seconds away from taking the white flag too. Then, Austin Cindric wrecked in Turn 4 and yet again took a potential win away from Gragson as a result.
Gragson, lost the lead in the pits and couldn’t make up ground on two overtime restarts and faded to a fifth place finish. He led 80 of the 177 laps on Sunday and now has eight top 10s on the season.
Another factor in this is that Gragson lost the Dash 4 Cash bonus too. He was leading it all day but by falling back, AJ Allmendinger took it again with a fourth place finish in his No. 16 Chevrolet and despite starting last, won $100k for beating Gragson, Hemric and Justin Haley across the finish line.
Gragson, won Bristol and qualified for race 1 of the four race incentive at Atlanta. Allmendinger, won last Saturday in Atlanta to qualify himself for round 2 in Homestead. Gragson, finished runner-up last weekend to Allmendinger to be among the four participants this weekend.
Brandon Jones was second in his No. 19 Toyota for his seventh top 10 of the season, four of which being top fives.
Ross Chastain rounded out the top five in third in his No. 10 Chevrolet for his second top five of the year.
The Dash 4 Cash drivers for next Saturday in Talladega are Briscoe, Jones, Chastain and Allmendinger.