Chase Briscoe has won the Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway to lock himself into the season finale at Phoenix.
Briscoe, dominated in leading a race-high 159 of 200 laps en route to his series leading ninth victory of the season. That’s the most a non Cup regular has ever won in the series. He’s also won 11 times in his career which tied him with Chuck Bown, Steve Grissom, Dale Jarrett, Terrl Labonte, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver first took over the lead on Lap 21 and would lead all but 22 laps the rest of the way. He’d sweep both stages in the process as he’s won eight of the last nine stages in the series overall.
He’s undefeated when he’s led at least 80 laps in a race.
Daniel Hemric finished second and Ryan Sieg, who put fresh tires on with seven laps to go, rallied from 10th to round out the top three.
Justin Haley was fourth and Josh Williams rounded out the top five after starting 23rd.
Trouble early for Cindric and Gragson
Xfinity Series playoff contenders Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson picked up heavy damage after a restart just 16 laps into their race at Kansas Speedway.
Gragson was in the lead and chose the inside line with Cindric outside of him after a caution flag. The duo were side-by-side heading into Turn 1, where Ross Chastain and Brandon Jones flanked them to make it four-wide heading out of the second turn.
Gragson and Cindric wound up touching down the back stretch. Both of them managed to keep their cars pointed the right direction, but they were forced to spend along time on pit road to fix their cars.
Cindric, the runner-up to Jones in the July race at Kansas, was second in the playoff standings to Chase Briscoe entering the night. Gragson was in fourth place, the last spot above the cut line.
For Gragson, he would finish last (36th) as a result and sees his seven race streak of top eight finishes come to an end. He’s now -33 heading to Texas.
Cindric, finished 28th and still doesn’t have a top five finish this postseason. His best result is sixth at both Las Vegas and the ROVAL. He had 17 of them in the regular season. He’s only +2 now.
The Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway was red-flagged on a restart with 28 laps to go when the field went four-wide into Turn 1 a few rows back of the lead, and a massive wreck involving playoff drivers Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones sent Anthony Alfredo sliding on his roof along the outer wall.
Alfredo’s car burst into flames before it finally came to rest on its top along the track apron.
Alfredo, who had been running in the top five most of the night, had to wait upside-down for a wrecker to lift his car onto its tires before he could climb out.
Nobody appeared to be hurt in the wreck, which also collected Riley Herbst and Brandon Brown.
Alfredo, had a solid night before that with a top four finish in both stages.
Sieg’s strategy nearly pays off
Ryan Sieg ran his second to last stint long. He hoped for a caution. He got it. Josh Reaume brought out the seventh caution which froze the field.
Sieg was leading.
He was able to pit then and have fresher tires to the finish. Then, a frightening crash occurred on the restart which forced most of the leaders down pit lane. Sieg, stayed out.
That put him in the lead again. He’d stay there until Briscoe passed him with 22 to go. Briscoe, was just too good.
So, when the final caution came out on Lap 190, Sieg was the only left up front with any tires left. So, they gave up second place. They’d restart in 10th.
He would climb back up to third in the end for his third top five in four playoff races run. Unfortunately, he’s still -17 and after.
Chase Briscoe’s win advances him to Phoenix. The rest of the spots behind him is tight.
Noah Gragson was caught up in that early race crash and went from +2 to -33. He likely has to win now.
Ryan Sieg had the opposite night where he scored six stage points and finished third. He only gained six points though in going from -23 to -17.
Ross Chastain gained three points in finishing fifth in both stages but 12th in the race. He’s -12.
Justin Haley scored his third top 10 of the playoffs and trails Austin Cindric by only two points.
Cindric crashed with Gragson and still doesn’t have a top five this postseason. But, he had 17 in the regular season and four top two finishes now (3 wins) in his last six starts on 1.5 mile tracks. We race on another one next week.
Brandon Jones’ two race Kansas win streak comes to an end but he has five top 10’s in his last six starts and is +9.
Justin Allgaier has eight top 10s in his last 11 starts on the season and sits +11.