Saturday afternoon’s Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway (Sept. 5) seemed to be shaping up into a solid day for Chase Briscoe. He led a race-high 55 laps and was in front with less than 30 circuits remaining when, in an instant, Lady Luck came out to bite him.
Contact between Brett Moffitt and Riley Herbst on the frontstretch led to Moffitt’s No. 02 Chevrolet dropping oil on the track. What followed gave way to one of the series’ strangest cautions this year, ruining Briscoe’s bid for victory.
Briscoe, Anthony Alfredo and Matt Mills all spun in isolated incidents almost simultaneously. In Briscoe’s case, he hit oil entering turn 1 and slid sideways, rubbing against the outside wall in the process. The wall contact forced him to make multiple unscheduled stops for repairs.
BIG TROUBLE ALL OVER THE TRACK!
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 5, 2020
Briscoe, driving a throwback to team owner Tony Stewart, finished 11th, nine seconds behind the leaders. He was inside the top 10 for a portion of the final green-flag run, but Myatt Snider snuck past for 10th and Briscoe completed a frustrating day with his worst finish on an oval track since Kansas Speedway in mid-July.
“Can’t win ’em all,” he tweeted afterwards, attaching a GIF of The Office character Michael Scott. “Felt like we had a great shot there to get the win with our High Point [No.] 98 and just hit oil while leading and took us out of contention.”
— Chase Briscoe (@ChaseBriscoe_14) September 5, 2020
After the red flag for cleanup, Briscoe’s Stewart-Haas Racing team did what they could to fix the issue, putting on scuffed tires. It didn’t work, as the No. 98 couldn’t quite make it back into contention despite just a few laps of wear on those Goodyears.
The Indiana native was seeking his seventh victory of 2020 at a track he won at earlier this year. That victory came in May, where Briscoe outdueled Kyle Busch in the first race back after a two-and-a-half-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series travels next to Richmond, Va., for a doubleheader Friday night, Sept. 11 and the following afternoon. Briscoe finished in the top 10 in both races there last year, posting a fifth-place effort in the fall event.