LONG POND, Pa. (July 29, 2016) - Chase Briscoe earned his fourth consecutive ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, dominating the ModSpace 150.
Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine-Cunningham Motorsports Ford, stretched the final 45 laps on one tank of Sunoco fuel, then stretched his lead by more than four seconds over John Wes Townley to earn his career-first superspeedway victory.
"As far as the race goes, we got the yellows when we needed them," Briscoe said. "We had track position all day to be able to stay out front. This place is so aero-dependent but once you're out front, it's hard to pass and you can save fuel."
Outside of an early battle with Christopher Bell, Briscoe was never seriously challenged.
"That was really cool battling with Christopher Bell. We grew up racing sprint cars...now we're racing against each other in stock cars."
Parker Kligerman was the last driver to win four in a row, having done it in 2009.
"Winning four in a row is really special," Briscoe continued. "It hasn't really sunk in yet. Maybe it'll sink in later, but right now I'm focused on five in a row."
John Wes Townley, after sitting out two races for concussion symptoms, finished second in the No. 05 Jive Communications Chevrolet.
"We needed a 10th or two more out of our Jive Chevy to get to Briscoe," Townley said. "Outside of that, he would have had to have run out of fuel to beat him. All in all a really good day for our Athenian Motorsports team. Proud of all my guys...they brought a really nice piece. There's always another day."
Dalton Sargeant, who pitted twice, finished third in the No. 55 Toyota Racing Development-Windows 10 Toyota. With no reason to save fuel, the Boca Raton, Florida rookie was catching both Briscoe and Townley over the final 10 laps, but ran out of time.
"It was a tough race overall," Sargeant said. "We sort of got blocked on pit road by that accident, and that changed our pit strategy. We topped off with fuel a second time, which put us on a different sequence. I'm really proud of my Venturini Motorsports team. We made gains on the car all day, made good strides...it won't be long before we get to victory lane."
The "accident" that Sargeant referred to involved the No. 98 Mason Mitchell Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Gus Dean. Dean's car made contact with his front tire changer Pedro Martinez and jackman John House during a pit stop. Martinez was evaluated in the infield care center and released. House, who walked to the ambulance under his own power, was transported to an area hospital for further evaluation.
Briscoe is not only teaching himself how to win, he's teaching himself how to save fuel.
"I'd get a good lead, then I'd lift and roll along as long as I could before I'd get back in the gas. I'm finally learning how to pace myself in these races. It's really a blessing racing for Cunningham Motorsports...to be paired with my crew chief Chad Bryant. He's taken me under his wing and taught me so much. Thanks to General Tire... they're doing a heck of a job. We unloaded with 26-lap tires and went to the top of the board."
Briscoe led the first 14 laps before pitting just once on lap 15 for fuel and tires. During the exchange, Shane Lee led four laps while Menards Polesitter Kyle Weatherman led five. But once Briscoe got the lead back on lap 24 of the 60-lap race, he never gave it up.
Lee, in the WGP/Win-Tron Racing Toyota, finished a career-best fourth.
"The guys from Win-Tron brought a brand new race car for this," Lee said. "They worked hard, and it showed in the race."
Weatherman held on for fifth in the No. 10 St. Charles Glass-Fast Track Ford.
Myatt Snider, Bell, Tom Hessert, Sarah Cornett-Ching and Will Kimmel completed to top-10 finishers, respectively.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards travels to Berlin Raceway next for the 29th running of the Berlin ARCA 200 next Saturday, August 6. The race will be live on the American Sports Network, and streamed live at AmericanSportsNet.com. Briscoe will be shooting for his fifth consecutive win, something that hasn't been done since Tim Steele in 1997.
Don Radebaugh firstname.lastname@example.org