Chase Briscoe said it would take eight to 10 wins from him this season if he wanted to advance from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021. Well, after Saturday night’s Alsco 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Briscoe has now reached eight wins with six races remaining in the season.
Briscoe spanked the field as he swept Stages 1 and 2 and led 165 of the 200 laps on the night to take a convincing win in the opening round of the 2020 NXS Playoffs.
“First off, incredible car by everybody Stewart-Haas. That made my job way too easy, honestly,” Briscoe quipped after climbing from his car. “Super fast Fields Ford Mustang, super happy to get them into victory lane, it’s their only race they do all year.”
Noah Gragson, who hails from Las Vegas, had a shot after a caution for a stalled Alex Labbe with 14 laps to go brought out the yellow and bunched the field back up.
“I knew if I could just take the lead on the restart I would be okay, but I was spinning the tires so bad all night for whatever reason,” said Briscoe.
For the initial couple of laps after the restart, Gragson looked to possibly have something for Briscoe, but then the No. 98 pulled away to win by 1.370-seconds.
Gragson says he did all he could but he was no match for Briscoe.
“Just didn’t have enough for that No. 98,” Gragson explained. “A lot of race cars out here and one space shuttle. We’ll keep on working. The guys did a heck of a job. Really good improvement from where we’ve run the last couple of weeks.”
The 22-year old was happy to finish second, but was bummed to barely miss out on a win at his home track.
“Damn. I wanted to win this one so bad in my home town,” Gragson agonized. “But we’ll try again in Talladega.”
Daniel Hemric, who has had a frustrating season, came home an impressive third in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 car.
Justin Allgaier made it a clean JR Motorsports sweep of second through fourth and Ryan Sieg opened a lot of eyeballs with a solid fifth-place finish in this race.
Austin Cindric, Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley rounded out the top-10 finishers on the night.
Ross Chastain, 16th, was the lowest finishing Playoff driver at Las Vegas. As a result, Chastain slipped outside the cutoff by two points in the opening race of the Round of 12.
Here is the updated 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Grid with two race left in the Round of 12:
- Chase Briscoe (Locked in by way of win)
- Austin Cindric, +53 points
- Noah Gragson, +36
- Justin Allgaier, +28
- Justin Haley, +14
- Brandon Jones, +13
- Ryan Sieg, +9
- Harrison Burton, +2
9. Ross Chastain, -2
10. Michael Annett, -10
11. Riley Herbst, -14
12. Brandon Brown, -20
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.