In his first NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) start at Chicagoland Speedway, Chase Briscoe drove his Nutri Chomps Ford to a ninth-place finish scoring his first career NXS top-10 finish Saturday afternoon.
“We really weren’t great at the beginning of the race,” Briscoe said. “We had a little track position in the beginning of the second stage. The yellow came out and everybody pitted and we decided to stay out because we knew we weren’t going to win the race as it was so we felt like we needed to do something. We were pretty good with 15 lap older tires and held our own and at the end it felt like we were a top-three car. We just didn’t have track position. I am proud of the guys. It was a hot weekend and to continue to work this hard and fight this hard all weekend long shows how hard these guys work.”
After advancing to round two in qualifying on Saturday morning the Roush Fenway Racing driver lined up in the 17th position, which he maintained for a majority of stage one due to a tight handling machine. With a caution free 45-lap stage, Briscoe took the green-checkered in the 16th position.
During the stage break, Briscoe brought his Nutri Chomps Ford to pit-road for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment. With another caution free stage two, the Mitchell, Ind. native continued to fight a tight handling car forcing him to take the green-checkered in the 17th position.
When the caution flag waved on lap 114, crew chief Mike Kelley made a strategy call to stay out to gain track position and save a set of tires for later in the 200-lap race. Briscoe led the field to green but gradually fell to cars with fresher tires.
The Nutri Chomps Ford was really strong on the long runs allowing Briscoe to work his way just outside the top-10 before green flag pit-stops. After making his final pit-stop, Briscoe was running similar lap times as the leader with 20 laps remaining. The rookie was able to pick up four positions in the closing lap to earn his first career NXS top-10 finish.
Next week, Austin Cindric and the No. 60 team return to Daytona International Speedway. The race is set for Friday, July 6. Coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EST) of NBCSN.
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