Brad Keselowski Racing Post-Race Report: Chicagoland Speedway
No 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150
Chase Briscoe seemed to be on the brink of his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory as he attempted to go back-to-back at Chicagoland Speedway. After earning the win in the ARCA Racing Series in 2016, Briscoe had a fast truck and knew how to get around the 1.5-mile racetrack. Unfortunately, a loose condition and heavy lapped traffic caused him to come up just shy of a win, and he ultimately finished second in the final race of the NCWTS regular season.
The No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 was fast from the moment it was unloaded, pacing the first practice session of the weekend. Briscoe took the green flag from the front row and was scored second when the caution flag waved on lap 12. Briscoe dropped to third after the lap 17 restart and reported that his Cooper Standard Ford was too loose. Visiting pit road following the lap-31 yellow flag, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. called for four tires, fuel and both air-pressure and wedge adjustments. Several trucks opted to remain on the track, which put Briscoe in the 10th position for the one-lap shootout for the stage win. With a big push from his teammate, Briscoe was able to jump to fifth before the conclusion of the segment.
Without the need to pit during the stage break, Briscoe took over the lead for the lap 43 restart and held it for 17 laps before dropping back to second. Reporting that he was still loose center off, Briscoe was again called to pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Restarting from the fourth position on lap 78, Briscoe once again jumped up to second, but he continued to struggle with a loose condition and stated that he couldn’t get into the corner with his current handling. Briscoe had one final opportunity to visit pit road for adjustments on lap 107, and his Cooper Standard crew once again provided him with four tires, fuel and adjustments. A fast pit stop allowed him to win the race off pit road, but with one competitor remaining on the racetrack, he’d restart second for the final green-flag stretch.
A wild three-wide restart forced Briscoe back to fourth, but he methodically stalked his competitors, taking over the third position on lap 122 and making the pass for second on lap 135. A hard battle for the second spot put him 2.215-seconds behind the leader, but the Cooper Standard machine was consistently the fastest truck on the racetrack and gaining ground. It appeared that Briscoe would quickly close the gap on the leader, but lapped traffic hindered his progress, preventing him from earning his first win of 2017. Briscoe’s solid night gained him a position in the regular season point standings, and he will be seeded fifth when the NCWTS Playoffs begin next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Chase Briscoe: “We had a really good truck tonight. We were really fast there at the end, but I got held up a few times in lapped traffic. If we’d had a few more laps to get there, I think we could have gotten to the No. 21 to earn our first win. I feel like it’s been a really good season; we’ve had speed at a majority of the racetracks but haven’t been able to capitalize on that speed and get a win yet. We’ve had a lot of really solid races, and we definitely could have had a couple wins; we literally were within inches at Texas. Overall, I’m really looking forward to the Playoffs. I think we’ve got a lot of good racetracks for our team coming up. We have speed right now, and that’s key.”
Starting Position: 2nd
Finishing Position: 2nd
Stage Wins: 0
Laps Led: 18
Playoff Seeding: 5th
Points Behind Leader: 31