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NASCAR Cup: Chase Briscoe notches first win at Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 13: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 Mahindra Tractors Ford, crosses the finish line to win the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 13, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)


Chase Briscoe led 101 laps of the 312-lap Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, most of those laps coming after taking the lead from Chase Elliott on a lap-230 restart, on his way to the win. Briscoe’s first-career NASCAR Cup Series win came in his 40th race in the series and made him the 200th driver to win a race in NASCAR’s top series.

“That’s unbelievable. I was crying the whole last lap,” Briscoe said. “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.I am 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.”

Briscoe’s win also was the first for Stewart-Haas Racing since Aric Almirola’s win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon last July.

After a late-race caution for Erik Jones on lap 286, Briscoe was joined up front by Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain, two other drivers also looking for a first-career Cup Series race win. The three potential first-time winners then were bunched up for a three-lap battle for that win after Elliott spun, bringing out the eighth and final caution.

Chastain got by Reddick in the final laps to finish second. Reddick wound up third. Ryan Blaney finished fourth after leading a race-high 143 laps, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five.

Briscoe led 101 laps, most of those coming after taking the lead from Chase Elliott on a lap-230 restart that followed a Martin Truex Jr. spin.

William Byron was the stage-one winner on lap 60 after taking the lead from Briscoe on a lap-53 restart that followed a caution for a wheel issue for Corey LaJoie.

After starting on the front row, pole sitter Blaney and Denny Hamlin ran first and second until pit-road speeding penalties during a lap-25 competition caution.

Joey Logano inherited the lead for the lap-32 restart, but after taking only two tires on his pit stop, he lost the lead to Briscoe a lap later.

Blaney was back up front to begin stage two after being among four drivers who stayed out at the end of the first stage.

The small group that stayed out after pitting during LaJoie’s caution also included Kyle Busch. Busch had fallen back though the field after stalling his car on pit road during the first caution.

While the other drivers on older tires soon lost positions to cars with new tires, Blaney managed to maintain his position up front.

Blaney drove on to a stage-two win on lap 185 but not before losing the lead to Elliott on pit road during a lap-119 caution for Christopher Bell. Blaney retook the lead from Elliott on lap 133.
After the second stage, Blaney, again, lost the lead to Ellott on pit road.

“I lost the lead there on pit road and just could never get back. I don’t know,” Blaney said. “Just didn’t have quite the speed and was kind of too tight. I could drive up through the field and make good spots and nobody could really do that. You would just get really tight behind people. Not a bad day. A good recovery from last week. We had a fast car, just a shame we couldn’t contend more for the win. It is cool to see Briscoe get his first win and we will go on to next week.”

Phoenix wins leader Kevin Harvick finished sixth, his 18th-consecutive top-10 at the track he has won at nine times. That string of consecutive top-10s ties him with Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt for most consecutive top-10s at a single track.

“It was a good day for us. Restarts weren’t 100 percent our strong point,” Harvick said. “We had a bit of a brake shake issue that kept pulling the car to the right under braking, so I couldn’t get into corners like I wanted to. Still a good day and the car ran good. I just couldn’t really connect all the corners altogether through the day. Putting a SHR car in victory lane and running inside the top-five all day for us is always a good day.”

Kyle Busch finished seventh, Logano was eighth, Daniel Suarez ninth, and Chris Buescher 10th.

Below, are the results of the Ruoff Mortgage 500:

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Posted by on March 14, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.