How Chase Briscoe Nearly Pulled off NASCAR Improbable at Martinsville

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Chase Briscoe nearly pulled it off. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver knew he would need nothing short of a win to make it into NASCAR’s Championship 4, and he came just 4 laps short of doing just that.

Briscoe came into Martinsville Speedway as the lowest driver in the points among the eight contenders but was fast in practice and qualifying on Saturday and got the attention of many including polesitter and defending Cup series champion Kyle Larson, who had been eliminated at Charlotte.
Starting third, Briscoe indeed did look good Sunday. He ran inside the top five for much of the early laps and finished fifth in Stage 1. But during the pit stops at the break, he left his pit stall with the fuel can still attach to his Ford. They can be dropped out, but it was outside his pit box, and NASCAR penalized the team for removing equipment. He was forced to drop to the tail of the longest line, and it appeared that any hope for a race win was over.

Chase Briscoe and Johnny Klausmeier: One of NASCAR's best up-and-coming  driver-crew chief duos - Auto Racing Digest

Chase Briscoe nearly went from eighth place in the Playoff standings to a spot in Championship 4. With 32 laps to go when the race’s sixth and final caution came out for Landon Cassill spinning. The lead group pitted but Briscoe, who had lost a lap but earned it back, was running in eighth and stayed out along with Cole Custer. Both drivers were on older tires, but Briscoe and his crew were aware that his only shot was winning, and staying out gave him the lead, and hope.

With four to go, Briscoe’s older tires gave out, and Bell passed and went on to win. Briscoe had to settle for ninth and was eliminated from the Playoffs along with Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney.

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