Briscoe led 164 of 200 laps and survived a late-race restart, holding off Noah Gragson to win Saturday’s Alsco 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, completing a sweep of victories in both of the track’s Xfinity races this season.
The victory, in the opening race of the 2020 playoffs, locked Briscoe into the semifinal round regardless of his performance in the next two races.
Briscoe now has eight wins this season and 10 in nearly three seasons of competition.
“We got it figured out here these last few races. This thing is on the rails around this place,” Briscoe said. “I’m super happy to start our playoffs this way.
“It’s been an unbelievable season but we have six more races to win. That’s what we are going to do. The championship is the priority right now. We still have more in the tank.”
Gragson ended up second, Daniel Hemric third, Justin Allgaier fourth and Ryan Sieg rounded out the top-five.
“I wanted to win here at my home track. We had a lot of speed today, but not close enough to (Briscoe),” Gragson said.
Completing the top-10 finishers were Austin Cindric, Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars all pit with Briscoe once again the first off pit road.
On the restart on Lap 97, Briscoe was followed by Gragson and Cindric.
With 85 laps remaining in the race, Briscoe maintained a 1.8-second lead over Gragson, with Cindric close behind in third. Allgaier was fourth and Brandon Jones had moved to fifth
With 65 laps to go, Briscoe had expanded his lead over Gragson to more than 4 seconds while Cindric remained in third. Allgaier ran fourth and Jones fifth.
On Lap 142, Sieg got around Jones to move back into the top-five.
On Lap 145, Burton and Hemric were among the first lead-lap cars to make a green-flag pit stop to take on new tires and enough fuel to make it to the finish of the race.
Briscoe made his stop on Lap 148.
With 45 laps to go, NASCAR displayed a caution when a tire got loose and ended up in the infield grass. The tire came from the team of Joe Graf Jr.
During the caution, Annett, as well as several others made pit, while Briscoe remained on the track and inherited the lead. The race returned to green on Lap 161.
With 25 laps to go, Briscoe had already built back up a more than 3-second lead over Cindric as Gragson remained mired in third.
On Lap 175, Burton moved into fourth after having been one of the few cars to stop under the previous caution for new tires.
With 22 laps remaining, Briscoe reported a vibration and asked his crew if all his wheels were on tight. He was told that they were. The issue didn’t appear to be affecting Briscoe’s speed, however.
Annett, who also pit under the previous caution, moved into the fourth position on Lap 183 and was told he was the fastest car on the track.
On Lap 187, NASCAR displayed a caution after Alex Labbe’s No. 36 became stalled at the entrance to pit road.
All lead-lap cars pit with Briscoe once again the first off pit road with four new tires. The race returned to green with eight laps remaining.
Briscoe held off a furious challenge from Gragson to claim the Stage 2 win, his seventh stage win of the 2020 season.
Cindric was third, Sieg fourth and Alfredo rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all lead-lap cars pit with Briscoe the first off pit road. He led the way on the restart on Lap 52.
On Lap 56, Alfredo got around Ross Chastain and moved into the third position as Chastain dropped back to fifth.
With 30 laps remaining in the second stage, Briscoe had built almost a 1-second lead over Sieg with Gragson running third.
With 20 laps to go, Gragson reported having a bloody noose and Sieg reported his cooling unit was not functioning properly in his No. 39 car. Briscoe continued to hold a more than 1-second lead.
On Lap 74, Gragson moved into second and began gaining ground on leader Briscoe.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Gragson was quickly closing on leader Briscoe as Cindric had made his way back up to third.
Briscoe ran down Chastain and passed him with six laps remaining and held on for the Stage 1 win, his sixth of the 2020 season.
Sieg was third, Gragson fourth and Alfredo rounded out the top-five.
Briscoe, who started on the pole, led the way early until Kyle Weatherman wrecked entering Turn 1 on Lap 8 to bring out the first caution of the race.
The race returned to green on Lap 14 with Briscoe still leading the way followed by Cindric and Haley.
Coming off Turn 4 of the restart lap, Cindric powered to the lead for the first time in the race.
Austin Hill spun off Turn 2 on Lap 19 to bring out another caution. NASCAR designated this caution as the competition caution to allow teams to check tire wear.
A handful of lead-lap cars elected to pit but Cindric stayed on the track and remained in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 24.
Chastain powered to the lead off Turn 2 on the restart lap while Gragson moved up to third.
With 15 laps remaining in the first stage, Chastain led the way but Sieg had moved into the runner-up spot and began challenging him for the lead. Briscoe worked his way back to third.
On Lap 8, Chastain, Sieg and Briscoe were nose-to-tail battling for the lead.
With six laps to go, Briscoe dove to the inside and passed both Chastain and Sieg to reclaim the lead.
With a lap remaining in the first stage, Chastain tagged the wall but was able to continue on without a caution.
|17||61||Austin Hill||Toyota||199||2:21'06.392||1 Lap||1 Lap|
|18||92||Josh Williams||Chevrolet||199||2:21'08.912||1 Lap||2.520|
|19||93||Myatt Snider||Chevrolet||199||2:21'11.553||1 Lap||2.641|
|20||78||Stefan Parsons||Chevrolet||199||2:21'11.909||1 Lap||0.356|
|21||15||Colby Howard||Chevrolet||198||2:21'10.716||2 Laps||1 Lap|
|22||44||Tommy Joe Martins||Chevrolet||198||2:21'11.793||2 Laps||1.077|
|23||4||Jesse Little||Chevrolet||198||2:21'12.609||2 Laps||0.816|
|24||07||Gray Gaulding||Chevrolet||197||2:21'09.872||3 Laps||1 Lap|
|25||74||Bayley Currey||Chevrolet||197||2:21'10.073||3 Laps||0.201|
|26||6||B.J. McLeod||Chevrolet||197||2:21'22.485||3 Laps||12.412|
|27||08||Joe Jr.||Chevrolet||196||2:21'14.995||4 Laps||1 Lap|
|28||13||Timmy Hill||Toyota||196||2:21'23.306||4 Laps||8.311|
|29||90||Dexter Bean||Chevrolet||195||2:21'14.266||5 Laps||1 Lap|
|30||5||Matt Mills||Chevrolet||194||2:21'24.875||6 Laps||1 Lap|
|31||52||Kody Vanderwal||Chevrolet||191||2:20'56.654||9 Laps||3 Laps|
|32||36||Alex Labbé||Chevrolet||179||2:06'02.266||21 Laps||12 Laps|
|33||0||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Chevrolet||166||2:21'15.943||34 Laps||13 Laps|
|34||99||Vinnie Miller||Toyota||51||1:32'55.851||149 Laps||115 Laps|
|35||66||Chad Finchum||Toyota||36||44'31.657||164 Laps||15 Laps|
|36||47||Kyle Weatherman||Chevrolet||7||3'58.031||193 Laps||29 Laps|