NASCAR: Chase Briscoe gets first Cup win at Phoenix
In his 40th start Chase Briscoe got his first NASCAR Cup victory winning the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway in the #14 Stewart Haas Racing Ford Mustang.
Briscoe was leading comfortably when a caution came out with 7 laps to go when Chase Elliott lost control of his #9 Hendrick Chevy.
The green flew with 3 laps and Briscoe jumped out to an immediate lead and never looked back winning by 0.771s over Ross Chastain’s #1 Chevy.
Tyler Reddick was a close 3rd in his #8 RCR Chevy.
Ryan Blaney, who led much of the race, finished 4th in his #12 Penske Ford while Kurt Busch rounded out the top-5 in the #45 Toyota.
Briscoe had to hold off the field on not one, not two, but three late race restarts on the one-mile desert oval, including the final restart with three laps remaining to earn his first career NASCAR Cup Series win in the Ruoff Mortgage 500.
The 27-year-old Briscoe is the 200th different winner in NASCAR’s premier series and last year’s Rookie of the Year earned the victory- by 0.771-seconds over Ross Chastain – in only his 40th start.
“It’s unbelievable,’’ said Briscoe, who drives the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
“I was crying the whole last lap. This is definitely a team win, but I’ve got to thank everybody that’s got me to this point. Just seven years ago I was sleeping on couches, volunteering at race shops and was literally driving home to give up.
“Unbelievable,’’ he continued, smiling. “So blessed to be here driving for this organization this team and this car that was my hero’s (NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart) growing up.
“To everybody that’s believed in me, it’s unbelievable.’’
Fast pit stops for Briscoe’s John Klausmeier-led crew helped all day. His 101 laps out front was second only to pole-winner Ryan Blaney’s 144 laps led. But Briscoe certainly had to earn this win on track holding off the field on those late race re-starts with cars sometimes fanning out seven-wide in the frenetic shuffle to the front.
Chevrolet drivers Chastain and Tyler Reddick took Briscoe three-wide on the final restart – all fueled by the motivation of that first win, but Briscoe’s Ford was able to drive away leaving them to settle runner-up between themselves.
Chastain’s runner-up finish is his second consecutive top-three finish for the Trackhouse Racing organization. Richard Childress Racing’s Reddick placed third followed by polesitter, Penske Racing’s Ryan Blaney and 23XI Racing’s Kurt Busch.
“That was so much fun to get to race like that at this level,’’ Chastain said, adding of the last lap competition, “That’s so cool to race with Tyler and Chase. That’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”
Briscoe’s veteran teammate Kevin Harvick finished sixth and that top-10 was good enough to tie a huge mark of success shared only by two NASCAR Hall of Famers. Harvick’s 18th consecutive top-10 at Phoenix matches an all-time NASCAR Cup Series record set by both Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway.
Another former series champion, Kyle Busch finished seventh leading the Joe Gibbs Racing charge. Penske Racing’s Joey Logano, Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez and Roush-Fenway-Keselowski driver Chris Buescher rounded out the top-10 respectively.
Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, who ran up front for much of the race, suffered a DNF – pitting with 74 laps remaining with what his crew diagnosed as a broken valve spring in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Larson was officially scored 34th – the second sub-30th place finish of the season, including a crash at the Daytona 500 (32nd place finish).
Larson already scored a victory at Auto Club Speedway this season, however, and is still ranked fourth in the championship, 10 points behind new leader Logano. Kyle Busch is third, five points back.
Both Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron and Penske’s Blaney earned their first Stage wins of the season. There were 15 lead changes among six drivers.
The NASCAR Cup Series next races at the newly-renovated Atlanta Motor Speedway in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Blaney is the defending race winner on the 1.5-mile high-banks which will now feature new pavement and progressive banking.
Q. Chase Briscoe, you had to hold off a couple late-race charges, caution flags, pit stop at the end. You are the 200th winner in the Cup Series.
CHASE BRISCOE: That’s unbelievable. I was crying the whole last lap. I mean, this is definitely a team win. I got to thank everyone that has gotten me to this point. Seven years ago, I was sleeping on couching, ready to give up. They gave me an opportunity and it’s led to this.
So blessed to be driving at the organization, the team, the car that was my hero growing up. To get this 14 back in Victory Lane, to do it with Mahindra Tractors, their first year in the sport, everybody that’s believed in me. It’s unbelievable.
Q. You have dreamed for years of driving in your idol Tony Stewart’s race car. You looked a lot like Tony Stewart out there today.
CHASE BRISCOE: Yeah, those restarts, I mean, we were sliding, everything else. I hope the race fans enjoyed the race. It was unbelievable from my point.
Thank you, guys, for coming out. We missed you the last two years with COVID and everything else. So thankful to have guys back. Without you guys, we don’t have a sport, don’t get to race, do what we do for a living.
I wish my wife and baby was here. Definitely special and one that’s going to be remembered forever.
Q. Ross Chastain, aggressive, exciting, fast. How would you sum up your day?
ROSS CHASTAIN: Like a day at the K1 track. That was so much fun to get to race like that at this level. Trackhouse Racing believes in me. Advent Health. These people, they believed in me early in the season whenever stuff wasn’t going great. If we can keep putting these together, that’s so cool to race with Tyler and Chase.
Yeah, I mean, that’s everything I’ve ever wanted. My crew chief, people don’t know how good he is. His adjustments this year have been so incredible. He gave me exactly what I needed. We came up one spot short. But I’m so happy.
|19||38||Todd Gilliland #||4.182||312|
|24||2||Austin Cindric #||-1||311|
|28||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||-2||310|
|29||21||Harrison Burton #||-4||308|
|35||19||Martin Truex Jr.||-93||219|
(i) NOT ELIGIBLE FOR POINTS
Average Speed of Race Winner: 100.339 mph.
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 6 Mins, 34 Secs. Margin of Victory: .771 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 52 laps.
Lead Changes: 14 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Blaney 1-27;K. Larson 28;J. Logano 29-32;C. Briscoe 33-51;W. Byron 52-63;K. Larson 64;R. Blaney 65-121;C. Elliott 122-132;R. Blaney 133-189;C. Elliott 190-224;R. Blaney 225;C. Elliott 226-229;C. Briscoe 230-287;R. Blaney 288;C. Briscoe 289-312.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Ryan Blaney 5 times for 143 laps; Chase Briscoe 3 times for 101 laps; Chase Elliott 3 times for 50 laps; William Byron 1 time for 12 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 4 laps; Kyle Larson 2 times for 2 laps.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 24,14,9,8,48,20,5,4,22,3
Stage #2 Top Ten: 12,9,4,24,5,8,1,14,3,22