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NASCAR: Briscoe’s heartbreaking week ends with Xfinity victory

By PETE IACOBELLI

AP Sports Writer

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Chase Briscoe was grateful to bring a moment or two of happiness to wife Marissa in the worst week of their lives.

It was Tuesday, during a 12-week exam, that they learned that their expected child — they only learned Monday that it was a girl — had no fetal heartbeat.

Two days later, Briscoe won the Xfinity Series’ return to action when he held off Kyle Busch at Darlington Raceway.

“This has been the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with and God is so good,” Briscoe said. “Even when I took the lead with 50 to go, I was crying inside the race car.”

Briscoe joined his wife’s appointment on a video call from the infield at Darlington, awaiting the rain-delayed race’s original start time. He and Marissa shared their news on Instagram on Wednesday, hoping it might help others cope with similar tragedies.

His story will reach so many more after the victory Thursday.

“This is more than a race win,” he said. “This is the biggest day of my life after the toughest day in my life, and to be able to best the best there is is so satisfying.”

Briscoe said he never seriously considered pulling out of the competition, that racing might be “therapeutic” in the series’ first event since March 7 in Phoenix due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Briscoe used two strong restarts and a quick pit stop to finish on top. He got the lead out of the pits during the final caution, then pulled away from Busch and Justin Allgaier on the subsequent restart with seven laps to go.

Busch seemed to have the race in hand as he took the second stage in a dominant showing. But he was called for speeding in the pits and ordered to the back of the 39-car field. Busch was there to challenge Briscoe at the end, the cars touching off the final turn before Briscoe crossed the finish line in front by 0.08 seconds. Allgaier was third, Austin Cindric fourth and Noah Gragson, the pole sitter who won the first stage, was fifth.

Toyota 200 results

Lap length: 1.37 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (11) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 147 laps, 50 points.

2. (26) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 147, 0.

3. (10) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 147, 48.

4. (7) Austin Cindric, Ford, 147, 42.

5. (1) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 147, 50.

6. (23) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 147, 40.

7. (4) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 147, 40.

8. (9) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 147, 42.

9. (12) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 147, 28.

10. (3) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 147, 28.

11. (22) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 147, 0.

12. (30) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 147, 26.

13. (6) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 147, 24.

14. (17) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 147, 23.

15. (13) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 147, 22.

16. (15) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 147, 21.

17. (16) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 147, 20.

18. (5) Riley Herbst, Toyota, 147, 19.

19. (36) Joe Graf Jr, Chevrolet, 147, 18.

20. (8) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 147, 17.

21. (19) Ray Black Jr, Chevrolet, 147, 16.

22. (28) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 147, 0.

23. (34) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 147, 14.

24. (24) Chad Finchum, Toyota, 147, 13.

25. (2) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 146, 20.

26. (25) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 146, 11.

27. (31) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 146, 10.

28. (29) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 145, 0.

29. (20) Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 145, 8.

30. (33) Mason Massey, Toyota, 143, 7.

31. (32) Ronnie Bassett Jr, Chevrolet, 143, 6.

32. (21) Kody Vanderwal, Chevrolet, 142, 5.

33. (35) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 142, 0.

34. (27) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 135, 3.

35. (14) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 129, 2.

36. (18) Jesse Little, Chevrolet, vibration, 122, 1.

37. (39) Colin Garrett, Toyota, 111, 1.

38. (38) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, handling, 35, 1.

39. (37) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, suspension, 1, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 115.371 mph.

Time of Race: 1 hour, 44 minutes, 26 seconds.

Margin of Victory: .086 seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 28 laps.

Lead Changes: 10 among 6 drivers.

 

Toyota 500 Results

At Darlington Raceway

Darlington, S.C.

Lap length: 1.37 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (16) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 208 laps, 47 points.

2. (26) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 208, 35.

3. (20) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 208, 40.

4. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 208, 33.

5. (13) Erik Jones, Toyota, 208, 39.

6. (3) Joey Logano, Ford, 208, 39.

7. (9) Aric Almirola, Ford, 208, 35.

8. (37) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 208, 29.

9. (7) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 208, 29.

10. (15) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 208, 44.

11. (24) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 208, 26.

12. (34) William Byron, Chevrolet, 208, 30.

13. (14) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 208, 24.

14. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford, 208, 23.

15. (18) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 208, 22.

16. (21) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 208, 21.

17. (23) Michael McDowell, Ford, 208, 20.

18. (19) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 208, 29.

19. (2) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 208, 18.

20. (10) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 208, 17.

21. (5) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 208, 24.

22. (4) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 208, 35.

23. (32) Chris Buescher, Ford, 208, 14.

24. (31) Corey Lajoie, Ford, 207, 13.

25. (39) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet, 207, 12.

26. (35) Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 207, 11.

27. (25) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 207, 10.

28. (29) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 207, 0.

29. (30) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 207, 0.

30. (11) Matt Kenseth, Chevrolet, 206, 9.

31. (22) Cole Custer, Ford, 206, 6.

32. (28) Gray Gaulding, Ford, 206, 5.

33. (33) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 204, 0.

34. (36) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 204, 3.

35. (12) John H. Nemechek, Ford, 202, 2.

36. (38) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 202, 0.

37. (27) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, transmission, 201, 1.

38. (17) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, accident, 200, 14.

39. (1) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, engine, 69, 2.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 106.085 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 42 minutes, 23 seconds.

Caution Flags: 11 for 54 laps.

Lead Changes: 17 among 14 drivers.

Wins: J.Logano, 2; D.Hamlin, 2; K.Harvick, 1; A.Bowman, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. K.Harvick, 258; 2. J.Logano, 224; 3. A.Bowman, 219; 4. D.Hamlin, 201; 5. C.Elliott, 192; 6. B.Keselowski, 191; 7. A.Almirola, 186; 8. M.Truex, 179; 9. M.DiBenedetto, 170; 10. C.Bowyer, 170; 11. R.Blaney, 168; 12. J.Johnson, 161; 13. Ky.Busch, 157; 14. Ku.Busch, 151; 15. E.Jones, 146; 16. W.Byron, 129.

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