BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 22, 2016) - Chase Briscoe raced hard to get there, but once he got the lead, the Mitchell, Indiana rookie drove away from his closest challengers to win the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 presented by Jive Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford, won the race off pit road on lap 70 of the 200-lap race, then fought off the pack over several restarts to earn his third consecutive victory on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour. Briscoe dominated with 131 laps-led overall.
"Opportunities like this just don't come around every day...not without a great team," Briscoe said from Victory Lane. "As a team we're really starting to execute. We just have to keep doing it. I feel this will be our championship to lose," added the championship point leader.
Briscoe gave much credit to his crew chief Chad Bryant.
"Chad Bryant put this car on rails...he's the best in the business. I'm so blessed to be with Cunningham Motorsports. Chad made some huge changes between practices and it made the car come alive."
Briscoe had to endure several double-wide restarts over the back half of the race to keep the lead as well as a 30-minute red flag for a five-car crash in turn two involving Dalton Sargeant, Ray Ciccarelli, Brady Boswell, Justin Haley and Dylan Martin. All drivers were examined and released.
Once officials put the yellow flag back out, all the lead lap cars came to pit road for four fresh General Tires and Sunoco fuel. Briscoe again won the race off pit road for the restart. When the field went back to green, Briscoe, from his chosen outside line, fought off a hard charge from his teammate and inside challenger Myatt Snider and checked out again.
Rookie Travis Miller, making his career-first ARCA start, eventually raced his way around Snider for the second position, but couldn't find Briscoe once he got there. Miller, in the No. 8 MDM Hillman-Ranier Racing Chevrolet, finished second nearly 10 seconds away from the winner.
"I'm really happy to come out with a second place finish in my first ARCA start," Miller said.
"Every time this MDM Hillman team comes to the track, they bring the best stuff. Enjoyed racing with all the guys out there tonight...had too many close calls to count, but I love this place. It was a good night. Hope we can run some more ARCA races."
Snider, in the No. 22 Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford, finished third.
"It was a rollercoaster out there tonight," Snider said. "We started too loose...adjusted on it...then got too tight in the end. We had a pretty good piece...we got everything out of it."
Parker Kligerman led the first 18 laps from the Menards Pole before Kyle Benjamin took the lead on lap 19. Benjamin, as a teammate to Miller in an MDM Chevy, drove away from everyone, leading 50 laps before coming to pit road for service. Shortly thereafter, Benjamin made an unscheduled pit stop and lost a lap in the exchange. In the end, he got back on the lead lap but not in time to challenge for the win.
Josh Williams finished fourth in the No. 6 Musselman's Apple Sauce Chevrolet.
"We fought hard all night," Williams said. "We changed a bunch of stuff on pit road...we worked really hard for this top five. We would have liked to have gotten a little closer to Briscoe, but even to come out this year second in championship standings is a win for our small team."
Chad Finley, in the only steel-bodied car in the top-10, finished fifth in the No. 51 Auto Value Parts Stores-Air Lift Toyota. Finley was up to third late in the race, but had to make an extra pit stop to get all the lug nuts on.
"We started behind the eight-ball...we were just too tight," Finley said. "We thought the car was going to have a lot more nose-grip but we lost the nose when the track cooled off. We had to fight back for our position after we had to pit again. Good night overall."
Bret Holmes finished sixth in the No. 23 Southern States Bank-Veterans Oil Chevrolet. Benjamin was seventh, the last car on the lead lap. Kligerman, Gus Dean and Tom Hessert finished eighth, ninth and 10th, all one lap down.
The ModSpace 150 is next for the ARCA Racing Series at Pocono Raceway July 29, live on FS1.
Don Radebaugh email@example.com