Briscoe calls shot at Dover to win Xfinity Series race

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Chase Briscoe called his shot at Dover.

He rang up his wife, Marissa, early Sunday and delivered the message: “I’m going to win this race today.”

Briscoe delivered in a backup car, rallying from the back of the field at Dover International Speedway on Sunday to win his sixth Xfinity Series race of the season.

“Maybe I need to start doing it every week,” he said of his guarantee. “I don’t know what the reason is why I have a feeling. Hopefully I start feeling that feeling a lot more.”

Briscoe had bad feeling Saturday when he damaged his No. 98 Ford in the first of two Xfinity races at the Monster Mile. That forced him into a backup car Sunday and he had to drop to the rear of the field.

No worries. Briscoe said his backup car was substantially better than his primary Ford and he had confidence early that he could back up his promise of a victory. He won the second stage and held on down the stretch to win his eighth career Xfinity race.

“As soon as we took the green I knew that I was going to be really good,” he said.

Briscoe won five of his first 13 races this season but was winless in the last seven. The 25-year-old has stamped himself a serious contender to win the second-tier NASCAR championship.

“I don’t think it is any secret that we have been frustrated amongst ourselves just not having the speed we had at the beginning of the year,” he said.

Ross Chastain was second and Austin Cindric third. Brandon Jones and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top five.

“When we win, we’re going to win a lot,” Chastain said.

Chastain won the first stage to earn his first playoff points of the season.

“Finally no watermelon in that column,” he joked.

Chastain, in fact, is an eighth-generation farmer and fourth-generation watermelon farmer.

Justin Allgaier won the first Xfinity race at Dover on Saturday and finished seventh Sunday.

Cindric had been the driver to beat headed into Dover, with a staggering five wins in the last six races. But he failed to find victory lane at the Monster, though his runs were strong enough to keep him in the championship chase.

“I felt like I drove my butt off and the team made improvements from the day before with execution and that is all I can ask for some days,” Cindric said.

The 21-year-old said he’s ready to make the move up to the elite Cup Series.

“I think on some days I could be that strong,” Cindric said. “I want to be pushed to be perfect on every lap. I think I can take the next step in my career by being around the best.”

His race future uncertain, Cindric at least knows he can rest up a bit after racing 400 miles on concrete in two days.

“I definitely feel like I earned a sleep-in tomorrow morning,” he said.

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