The Journal Gazette
Monday, June 29, 2020 1:00 am

Briscoe wins Xfinity race as crashes rule day

Associated Press

LONG POND, Pa. – Chase Briscoe held off Ross Chastain in overtime to win the crash-filled Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway, the second of three NASCAR races at the track on Sunday.

Pocono became the first track to race a Truck, Xfinity and Cup race on the same day.

Chastain, an eighth-generation farmer and fourth-generation watermelon farmer, and Briscoe swapped the lead in a fantastic battle down the stretch until – yes, another caution, the ninth – bunched the field and sent the race into OT.

Briscoe pulled away from there in the No. 98 Ford and won his fourth race of the season, and second in three races.

“Me and Ross, it was pretty fun,” Briscoe said. “He's always one of the hardest guys to race against.”

Chastain hit the jackpot with his runner-up finish. He won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize awarded to the highest finisher among four eligible drivers.

“It's tough to be upset with second but I am,” Chastain said. “It's the memories we take with us, not the money.”

Maybe, but the cash sure does help.

“It's more money to take home and splurge,” Chastain said.

Jeremy Clements was third, followed by Myatt Snider and Michael Annett.

Pocono turned in a wreck-fest for the second straight race, the track record-tying nine cautions in Trucks was given a run for the money early in Xfinity.

There was a big one just inside 40 laps remaining that collected several checkered flag contenders and shook up a staid race. Stage winners Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier were caught up in the crash. So were Noah Gragson, the pole sitter, Daniel Hemric and Ryan Sieg.

“I hate being out of the race early, but I also hate having a race-winning car and not being able to capitalize on it,” Cindric said.

Briscoe even regrouped after he spun with the lead because of a tire issue late in the race.

Briscoe, 25, is now halfway to his preseason goal of eight victories.

TRUCKS: In Long Pond, Pennsylvania, Brandon Jones took home a trophy and sent a car to the scrap heap in about an hour at Pocono.

Jones won a two-lap sprint to the finish to win the wreck-filled Truck Series race, the first of three NASCAR races Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

The Truck race was rained out Saturday forcing the move to early Sunday.

Jones' enjoyment was short-lived – he wrecked on the first lap of the Xfinity Series race.

“It doesn't take much when you get three wide,” Jones said. “We won the Truck race and I had high hopes for this race, too.”

The Truck race never got any momentum and dragged from start to finish because of nine caution flags and two red flags on a sloppy day of racing at Pocono. Clint Bowyer warmed up for his Cup race with a jog on track property as the Truck race started and tweeted in the waning laps, “There's a good chance I still might outrun this truck race.” 

Austin Hill was second and Sheldon Creed, who won the first two stages, was third.

Jones drives the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the dominant team in the series, and he got some advice on how to handle the tri-oval track from his championship owner after Saturday's Cup race.

“It's not really that much pressure, honestly,” Jones said. “I think there's so much that (Busch) provides for us. We were all on a call with him last night after the Cup race and he gave us so much information that led to this win today. It's a group effort and I can't do it by myself. I have to have all that stuff to tie the pieces in.”

The race had a pair of big wrecks inside of 10 laps that gave the drivers a wake-up call from the early-morning start.

Matt Crafton, a three-time series champion, and Codie Rohrbaugh smacked the wall on the first turn of the first lap. Austin Wayne Self and Raphael Lessard also hit the wall and that brought out the red flag for extensive cleanup.

The caution flag was out shortly again when Ty Majeski crashed hard entering the first turn to bring out the third caution flag at only 12 laps. The energy-absorbing SAFER barriers were put to good use throughout the race.

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