Briscoe dominates NASCAR Xfinity Kansas race

Chase Briscoe led a dominant 159 of 200 laps to win his record ninth NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday night, the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. And while the 25-year-old Hoosier turned in a dominating effort, the race – a crucial chapter in the 2020 playoff run – was dramatic in multiple ways.

Briscoe’s No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford ultimately edged Daniel Hemric’s No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet by 1.199 seconds to earn the win – his nine-trophy, single-season tally the most ever by an Xfinity Series regular. Just as importantly, the victory gives Briscoe an automatic position in the Championship 4 round to decide the season title Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway.

“Super happy to lock into Phoenix, it’ll be a lot less stressful the next two weeks,” Briscoe said. “That’ll be nice. Can’t say thank you enough to everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, this Ford Performance Racing School Mustang was lights out.”

Fellow playoff driver Ryan Sieg, driving for his family-owned team, finished third, leading the race with 23 laps remaining and making a bold playoff statement in his first appearance in this round of championship competition.

Justin Haley and Austin Hill rounded out the top five. Josh Williams, Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett, Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier completed the top 10. It was certainly an overall impressive night for Moffitt, who won the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile Kansas track an hour before the Xfinity Series’ green flag dropped.

Race winner Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

While playoff drivers such as Briscoe, Sieg, Haley, Jones and Allgaier turned in a productive opening race to the Round of 8, it was a much different night for fellow title contenders Ross Chastain (finished 12th), regular-season champion Austin Cindric (finished 28th) and Noah Gragson (finished 36th).

Chastain’s effort was inspired considering his No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet was dinged up in several incidents. Cindric and Gragson were involved in a large multi-car accident while the field was racing three and four-wide at the beginning of the race. Cindric’s Team Penske crew was able to repair his No. 22 Ford Mustang enough to continue to turn laps, albeit well out of contention. Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was too heavily damaged to continue.

The result is a massive turnaround in the playoff points standings. Cindric and Allgaier came into Saturday night’s race ranked second and fourth, respectively, among the eight championship-eligible drivers, but their misfortune at Kansas cost them significantly.

Cindric is now fourth, with only a slight two-point advantage over Haley. Gragson fell to eighth among the eight drivers and is now 33 points below the cutoff line as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for next week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Allgaier moved to second place – just behind Briscoe – and has an 11-point edge on fifth place. Jones, the two-time defending Kansas winner, is now ranked third, nine points up on Haley. Chastain (-12), Sieg (-17) and Gragson (-33) round out the playoff standings heading to the Lone Star state.

“We were in the middle, four-wide and it’s tough,” Gragson said after being checked in and released from the track’s Infield Care Center. “We all get crowded off Turn 2 on the restart. It’s a bummer and definitely frustrating. But we were racing for the lead, just a racing deal. …

“We’ve got good speed at Texas in the past so I’m confident about that and we are extra motivated. That’s the good thing about these Xfinity playoffs. You don’t want to have a bad race but if you do, it allows you to rebound. We’re going to have our heads held high this week.”

One of the most dramatic parts of the race involved a multi-car accident on a restart with 28 laps remaining. While racing among the top 10 for position RCR driver Anthony Alfredo’s No. 21 Chevrolet took a tumble on track and ended up upside down. The race was red-flagged as the NASCAR safety crew immediately came to Alfredo’s rescue, carefully righting the car and helping Alfredo out. He walked to the ambulance and spoke to reporters minutes later.

“That was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced and definitely shows how fast things happen in racing,” Alfredo said. “I’m just glad to be okay and first off, I’ve got to thank the NASCAR safety crew for being there immediately before I even realized it was (flipped) over.

“It was just racing hard. We had an extremely fast Chevrolet Camaro tonight.

“I’m very thankful for the safety team, our safe race cars and all the safety equipment that goes into keeping drivers safe in the race cars.”

Note: The race winning No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford of Chase Briscoe cleared NASCAR’s post-race inspection. There were no other issues.

Race Results

Fin Str No. Driver Team Laps Status Led
1 6 98 Chase Briscoe (P) Ford Performance Racing School Ford 200 Running 159
2 3 8 Daniel Hemric Poppy Bank Chevrolet 200 Running 0
3 8 39 Ryan Sieg (P) Chevrolet 200 Running 19
4 9 11 Justin Haley (P) LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 200 Running 0
5 29 61 Austin Hill(i) Toyota Tsusho Toyota 200 Running 0
6 23 92 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet 200 Running 0
7 27 2 Brett Moffitt(i) Destiny Homes/Concrete Supply Chevrolet 200 Running 0
8 11 1 Michael Annett Allstate Parts & Service Group Chevrolet 200 Running 0
9 5 19 Brandon Jones (P) Toyota Service Centers Toyota 200 Running 0
10 7 7 Justin Allgaier (P) BRANDT Chevrolet 200 Running 0
11 18 20 Harrison Burton # Morton Buildings/DEX Imaging Toyota 200 Running 0
12 4 10 Ross Chastain (P) Dyna-Gro Seed Chevrolet 200 Running 7
13 16 68 Brandon Brown JAGR Construction Chevrolet 200 Running 0
14 22 44 Tommy Joe Martins AAN Adjusters Chevrolet 200 Running 0
15 13 51 Jeremy Clements Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet Chevrolet 199 Running 0
16 34 90 Dexter Bean Sleep Well/Alpha Prime Chevrolet 198 Running 0
17 20 4 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 198 Running 0
18 32 74 Bayley Currey(i) Chevrolet 197 Running 0
19 30 15 Jesse Little # Chevrolet 197 Running 0
20 14 0 Jeffrey Earnhardt Forever Lawn Chevrolet 197 Running 0
21 15 93 Myatt Snider # The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet 197 Running 0
22 31 13 Timmy Hill(i) Toyota 197 Running 0
23 10 36 Alex Labbe Can-Am Chevrolet 197 Running 0
24 21 7 David Starr American Rebel Safes Chevrolet 195 Running 0
25 24 5 Matt Mills JF Electric Toyota 193 Running 0
26 26 52 Kody Vanderwal # Triple R Performance Engines Chevrolet 191 Running 0
27 35 99 Jesse Iwuji(i) eRacing Assorication Chevrolet 190 Running 0
28 2 22 Austin Cindric (P) Menards/Richmond Ford 173 Running 1
29 25 21 Anthony Alfredo Andy’s Frozen Custard Chevrolet 172 Accident 1
30 12 18 Riley Herbst # Monster Energy Toyota 172 Accident 0
31 28 78 Vinnie Miller Koolbox Toyota 169 Running 0
32 19 8 Joe Graf Jr # Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet 158 Rear Gear 0
33 36 47 Josh Reaume(i) GPS Tab Chevrolet 101 Brakes 0
34 17 6 Ryan Vargas TikTok Chevrolet 81 Power Steering 0
35 33 66 Stephen Leicht JaniKing Toyota 59 Fuel Pump 0
36 1 9 Noah Gragson (P) Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet 16 DVP 13