Chase Briscoe bounces back to win ‘Drydene 200’ at Dover

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After spinning out his primary car early in a doubleheader weekend, Chase Briscoe can be forgiven if he felt a little dejected heading into Sunday’s “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

Instead, the mistake served as motivation. And now he has a Monster Trophy to show for it.

Briscoe, driving the No. 98 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing topped Ross Chastain by 2.463 seconds for his first Dover victory, sixth of the season and eighth of his Xfinity Series career. Briscoe started at the tail of the field after switching to a backup car before the green flag.

“It’s a testament to these guys at Stewart-Haas to pull a backup car out and come from the back and win,” Briscoe said. “I thought it was better than our primary. We hadn’t won in a month and a half but it felt like five years. I think this was the most dominant car we’ve had all year.”

Briscoe made his way up through the field and was in sixth place by the end of Stage 1 at Lap 45. He had the lead by Lap 71, won Stage 2, then survived a round of green-flag pit stops to take the checkered flag.

On his way back to the front during the pit cycle, Briscoe nudged Chastain after the duo exited Turn 4, causing Chastain to lift just enough for Briscoe to make the winning pass.

“I would do the same thing,” said Chastain, who won Stage 1 and led 24 laps. “It doesn’t mean I’m not mad about it. I’m upset but I would have done the same thing.”

Chastian held on for second, followed by Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and Daniel Hemric to complete the top-five. The race capped two days and 400 miles worth of speed, effort and hot temperatures on the one-mile, high-banked, concrete oval for the Xfinity Series stars.

“This track is probably one of the harder ones to do [a doubleheader] at for sure,” said Cindric, who holds a 62-point lead over Briscoe in the Xfinity Series standings. “I definitely feel like I earned a sleep-in tomorrow morning. But it is fun. I love this place. I would come back and race it tomorrow if I had the opportunity.”

Briscoe led a race-high 107 laps and averaged a speed of 111.784 mph to complete the 200 miles in 1 hour, 47 minutes and 21 seconds. Five caution flags took up 24 laps in a race that featured 12 lead changes among eight leaders.

“I always wanted to win at Dover,” Briscoe said. “This is one of those ‘driver’ race tracks.

“I was pretty dejected after yesterday. I felt like I let a lot of people down. There’s no give-up on this team and its awesome to be a part of.”

The NASCAR weekend at Dover International Speedway is taking place without fans due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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