Chas Briscoe achieved his ambitious goal he had set prior to the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity season by winning his eighth race in the season at the Las Vegas playoffs on Saturday night.
Chase Briscoe led 164 out of 200 laps although he suffered a late race restart but was able to hold off Noah Gragson to win Saturday’s Alsco 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, completing a sweep of victories in both of the track’s Xfinity races this season.
The victory in the Las Vegas playoffs locked Chase Briscoe into the semifinal round whatever his performance in the next race. He has eight 8 wins now in the season and ten in the three seasons he has competed.
“We got it figured out here these last few races. This thing is on the rails around this place,” Briscoe said.
“I’m super happy to start our playoffs this way. It’s been an unbelievable season but we have six more races to win. That’s what we are going to do. The championship is the priority right now. We still have more in the tank.” Briscoe added.
Briscoe, in a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, won all three stages Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, then beat hometown driver Noah Gragson on a late restart to grab control of the Xfinity Series title race.
Briscoe earned an automatic berth into the second round of the playoffs and increased his series-best victory total. There will be a new Xfinity Series champion for the first time in three years this season and Briscoe is one of the favorites.
“An incredible car by everybody at Stewart-Haas. That made my job way too easy, honestly,” Briscoe said. “We have had a lot of wins this year, but this is by far our most dominant car.”
The Indiana native has been an inspiring story for underdogs, and this season was in doubt until sponsorship developed during the offseason to secure a second season at SHR. Chase Briscoe went into the year determined to win eight races and prove he deserves a spot in the Cup Series.
Briscoe joined Jack Ingram and Sam Ard with a record eight wins; both Ingram and Ard won eight apiece in 1984. He also won last week at Bristol.
Now that Briscoe has hit his mark of eight wins, he’s got his sights set on grabbing every trophy he can over the final six races of the season. He knew his No. 98 team was capable of a dominant season, which is why he felt comfortable making eight wins the mark to hit to argue his case for a Cup ride.
“I knew this team was fully capable of achieving that and even more,” Briscoe said. “It has been an unbelievable season and we still have a lot, six more wins that we can try to get and a championship. That is what we are going to try to do.”
Gragson, a Las Vegas native, finished second in a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. He suffered a bloody nose in the middle of the race and it was bothersome over the final stretch. When a caution came out with 14 laps to go, Gragson got his shot to go head to head with Briscoe for the win.
It took Briscoe a full lap to take control on the restart, and Gragson had nothing for him. Briscoe had built a lead of more than 6 seconds over Austin Cindric before the late caution, Gragson came off pit road in second and had his only chance at Briscoe on the restart.
Cindric, the regular-season champion, didn’t have as strong of a Ford as Briscoe, but still was running second before the final caution. Team Penske told him he should do the opposite strategy as Briscoe but let Cindric make the final decision. Cindric followed Briscoe down pit road for the service, but a slow stop cost him four positions.