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Despite driving with a broken finger, Briscoe had managed to work his way up to second late in Sunday night’s race at the Bristol Dirt Track and was starting to put serious heat on leader and eventual race winner Christopher Bell.
On Lap 224 of 250, Tyler Reddick got to the inside of Briscoe and claimed the second spot. In his effort to get back around Reddick, Briscoe ended up hitting the wall with his No. 14 Ford.
Then, on the final restart with eight laps remaining, Briscoe was running behind third-place Ryan Blaney. In Turn 1, Briscoe’s car bottomed-out, he got into Blaney and sent him spinning and dropping back through the field.
Briscoe still managed to finish fifth – his best effort of the season so far – and racked up 41 points, also a season-best.
“I didn’t get a great launch and shove down the front straightaway to him and then going into (Turn) 1 I just tried to run as low as I possibly could and when I went in there, I hit those big dirt turtle things after my spotter had warned me about it five times,” Briscoe said of the final restart.
“As soon as I hit it, it just bottomed the nose out super-hard and my car just shot right and hit Blaney in the left rear. I absolutely ruined his day. He’d done a really good job and was running third and honestly thought he had a shot to win it if I could give him the right push.
“I just completely ruined it for him. It wasn’t a very good decision on my part.”
Briscoe said he wasn’t sure if he would have been able to get around Bell even if he had the chance.
“I just needed a little bit more on the top (lane). I felt like I was okay. I just wasn’t quite as good. I thought (Reddick) was definitely probably the best,” he said. “The 20 (Bell), I felt like I could kind of pace him, but it was going to be nearly impossible to pass him.
“There were a couple times I was close in (Turns) 1 and 2. I feel like I had my hands tied the whole time. I needed to be a little bit better.
“Nevertheless, overall, a good solid points night for us, which is something we haven’t had all season long. Wish we could have got the win.”
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Magical Vacation Planner Ford Mustang and William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro
Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
Sunday night’s race was the third consecutive year the spring Bristol race has been run on dirt, but it was also the conditions the track has seen since the race’s inception.
It was no surprise then to see the top six finishers in the race – including Briscoe – were drivers with dirt racing experience.
“I thought the track was awesome. I thought that was the most realistic dirt race you’re going to get without real dirt cars,” Briscoe said. “I felt like we finally saw the dirt guys shine for that same reason, so I had a lot of fun running the top like that.
“Now, if it’s here or not, it really doesn’t make a difference to me, but I do think after (Sunday night), even last year, I think it’s shown that it can put on really good racing. It’s just a matter of the track prep and all those things that go along with it.”
Briscoe will have X-rays on Monday to determine whether surgery is needed on his finger. He suffered the injury in an accident earlier in the week while participating in the Kyle Larson Late Model Challenge at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn.