JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2016) - With his most significant challenger gone from the mix, Chase Briscoe checked out on the competition, handily winning the SCOTT 150 Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
In the end, Briscoe, in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford, drove under the checkered flag a full seven seconds in front of second-place finisher John Wes Townley to earn his fifth career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory in his 20th series start.
"I'm so proud of these guys on this Cunningham Motorsports team," Briscoe said. "It's unbelievable where I was last year at this time, and now, to be here is beyond incredible. Just thanks to Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer for this amazing opportunity. Chad (Bryant/crew chief) brings great race cars...it just makes it that much easier."
After Austin Cindric put four fresh General Tires on and drove around Briscoe late in the race (to get back on the lead lap), Briscoe learned that he too needed new tires to ensure the victory. Briscoe got the caution flag he was looking for when his biggest rival, Shane Lee, hit the wall after he cut a right-front tire on lap 72.
"It was huge to get those General Tires at the end. Once Cindric did it, he left us...that was the key."
Briscoe also made it more difficult on himself when he overshot his pit box, costing him four positions for the late restart.
"That was just a rookie mistake. I can't be doing that if I get the chance to move up. Glad I was able to get it back though."
Back under green, Briscoe "got it back" in a hurry when he hooked up on the high-line and sailed around Christopher Bell and Townley, checking out from there with nary a challenge. Townley continued to fall back, but still managed to bring his No. 05 Jive Communications-Zaxby's Chevrolet home in the runner-up position.
"We were tight the whole race," Townley said. "We made some adjustments that helped but the 77 was in another league tonight; but he's been that way all year. I'd like to thank all the guys on the team for a great job. Unfortunately, we just didn't have enough. We gotta figure out something for the 77."
Bell was also a contender in the end, but, like Townley, had nothing for Briscoe. Bell, in the No. 15 JBL Toyota, finished third after leading two laps.
"To finish third today was a win for our team," Bell said. "We struggled all day with speed; but every pit stop my guys made huge swings and got it better. The goal was to get laps and get confident, and we accomplished that."
Kyle Weatherman finished fourth in the No. 10 St. Charles Glass-Fast Track High Performance Ford.
"We just don't give up till the end," Weatherman said. "It was fun racing with Chris (Bell) at the end. We had a few things wrong with our car but we'll get 'em at Kentucky."
Dalton Sargeant finished fifth in the No. 55 Toyota Racing Development-Windows 10 Toyota.
Briscoe led the first 26 laps from his second starting position; however, Lee, who earned his career-first Menards Pole earlier in the day, erased his four-second lead and drove around Briscoe in traffic to lead the 27th lap. Then the leaders pitted under caution on lap 30 for fresh General Tires and Sunoco gas. However, Lee lost several spots on pit road and restarted seventh. By lap 40, Lee had raced his way up to second and, again, slowly began reeling in Briscoe before his wall-banger late in the going.
Briscoe dominated the leader board with 84 laps-led during the 100-lap/150-mile race. Briscoe also wrapped up the 2016 Bill France 4 Crown championship, a title within a title consisting of four different tracks. This year's Bill France 4 Crown included the New Jersey road course, the Lucas Oil Raceway short track, the DuQuoin mile dirt and Chicagoland.
Cindric, who led four laps, finished sixth ahead of Travis Braden in seventh. Ty Majeski, who led six laps, finished eighth. Brent Sherman and Tom Hessert finished ninth and 10th.
The next event for the ARCA Racing Series is the Crosley 150 at Kentucky Speedway Friday night, September 23.
KY Open Test Tuesday, September 20
ARCA Racing Series officials are conducting an open test at Kentucky Speedway Tuesday, September 20, with on-track testing from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch at noon. Media is invited to attend.
KY Raceday Schedule, September 23
Practice for the Crosley 150 is Friday afternoon, September 23 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:40. The Crosley 150 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 8:00. In addition to Live Timing and Scoring and Live Chat at arcaracing.com of all on-track activities, the Crosley 150 is live on FS2 at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
Don Radebaugh email@example.com