Race Winner: Justin Haley of Kaulig Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Chase Briscoe dominated the Ag-Pro 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, but left with only a 20th-place finish to show for his efforts. The driver of the No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang started on the pole and swept the first two stages while leading four times for a race-high 73 laps. With only three tours remaining in the 113-lap race around the spacious 2.66-mile oval, Briscoe had his sights set on his ninth win of the season and his third in a row. Protecting his lead on the penultimate lap, Briscoe was forced into the turn four wall after his Ford Mustang received a nudge from the nose of Noah Gragson’s No. 9 machine. This cut down the right-rear tire on Briscoe’s No. 98 ride, forcing the 25-year-old racer from Mitchell, Indiana, to nurse his Ford Performance School Mustang to the finish and watch as another driver celebrated the victory. Despite the misfortune, Briscoe already secured a spot in the next round of the playoffs, as his victory the week prior at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earned his position in the Round of 8. Briscoe’s next opportunity for a victory comes next Saturday at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval where Briscoe scored his first career Xfinity Series victory on Sept. 29, 2018.
Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“At the end of the race you’re doing everything you can to protect the runs and the other guy is doing everything he can to make moves. It’s just part of racing here. It was exciting, at least on my end. I just about wrecked two or three times trying to block Noah (Gragson). It was cool. He had talked to Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) about how to run this place and I had talked to Dale about how to run this place and it was weird because I knew what he was trying to do every time, so I was trying to protect it. Overall, it was a really good day for our Ford Performance Racing School Mustang. To win two stages is huge going into the next round. Twentieth obviously doesn’t tell the whole picture, but that is part of racing here. We’ll go to the Roval next week and have some fun.”
● Briscoe won Stage 1 and Stage 2 to earn a total of 20 bonus points and two playoff points.
● Justin Haley won the Ag-Pro 300 to score his third career Xfinity Series victory, his third of the season and his second at Talladega.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 25 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 37 drivers in the Ag-Pro 300 finished on the lead lap.
● By virtue of his Las Vegas win, Briscoe advances to the Round of 8 for the second time in his career. He finished fifth in the Xfinity Series standings last year, narrowly missing out on advancing to the Championship 4 and competing for the series title. He did, however, win the rookie-of-the-year award.
● Briscoe remains the championship leader after Talladega with a 34-point advantage over second-place Austin Cindric.
The next event on the Xfinity Series schedule is the Drive for the Cure 250 on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.