NASCAR Xfinity Series officials made a great decision when they scheduled last weekend’s race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The battle between Chase Briscoe, AJ Allmendinger, and Austin Cindric in the final two laps was spectacular.
The battle was brewing after the final restart. Briscoe was blocking Allmendinger in every corner and protecting his lead until Briscoe missed the apex of Turn 7. Most drivers wouldn’t recover to rejoin the battle for the lead. Briscoe showed how skilled he is at his craft when he caught Cindric and Allmendinger. He gained so much momentum that he moved out of line to pass them both of the bottom. Briscoe dove into Turn One. Somehow he made the pass and drove away. When Cindric hit Allmendinger entering Turn Two or Turn Three caused both drivers massive damage. Briscoe extended his lead at that point. Talladega winner Justin Haley and two-time winner Noah Gragson fought for second. Meanwhile, Briscoe extended his lead to almost two seconds.
Briscoe said he needed to win eight races to be eligible to drive for Cup Series team. He’s only three races away after his last win. He has won at intermediates and road courses and finished second at Bristol.
Before the hiatus, he accrued outstanding statistics. He earned one win, two Top-5s, three Top-10s and one finish out of the Top-15. He earned 58 points in his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His lowest finish was 19th at Auto Club Speedway. He sustained damage during that race. He was spectacular in four races.
Since the season resumed, he has been even more spectacular. He won four races, and earned five Top-5s, six Top-10s and finished outside of the Top-15 twice. Both races were because of crash damage.
At Darlington Raceway, he defeated two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch. They had a classic battle that came down to Briscoe passing him exiting Turn Four. That race was his breakout race. His next win came on the heals of the greatest comeback of this generation in the series when he came back from six laps behind the leader to finish sixth. Upon his win, he led the most laps and beat one of the best of the other drivers since the resumption Noah Gragson heads up.
Next up for these drivers is a double-header at Kentucky Speedway. Chase Briscoe will win on Wednesday evening evening and finish second in Saturday afternoon. The link to the full schedule will be listed below. Please note, races past August 2 are have not been announced yet.
The first race of the Saturday double-header the GMR Indy Grand Prix was entertaining. Scott Dixon, a five-time champion, started seventh. Passing was not at as much of a premium as in the past. Dixon proved that immediately. He moved through the field with eye-opening ease. If a caution didn’t appear, Graham would have won the race, though. Unfortunately, Oliver Askew, a rookie driving for Arrow McLaren SP, was exiting Turn 14 when he the rear end broke traction, also known as getting loose. He over corrected to save his car, but ultimately hit the outside retaining SAFER Barrier which brought out the Yellow Flag. That’s all Scott Dixon needed to pass Rahal and drive away for his second win of this season. The 47-year-old driver New Zealander captured his 48th career win.
Dixon leads the points by 29 points over Simon Pagenaud. Defending Champion Josef Newgarden is 40 points behind in third. The highest driver for Andretti Autosport, Zach Veach, is 53 points behind in sixth points. Rinds Veekay is the highest-placed rookie in 11th position, two points behind 10th, held by Marcus Erickson.
This year’s Brickyard 400 was surprisingly captivating. A rivalry is growing between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin each week. They were battling for the lead for the most of the race. William Byron, Eric Jones were battling in the front too.
Eric Jones blew a right front tire exiting Turn Two about one-quarter of the way through Stage Two. He is in a contract year and he needs to gain momentum. Around this time during last season, he was gaining momentum. He needs to replicate that if he wants to stay in a Joe Gibbs Racing car. His future depends on it. The laeding contender for his seat, Rookie Christopher Bell, finished inside the Top-10 yesterday. Arguably, Bell has more skill than Jones, but definitely more experience. Both drivers struggled to win the Championship in the Xfinity Series after winning the most wins in each season they competed in. Right now, Joe Gibbs looks foolish for promoting Jones as early as he did. This is an interesting narative to follow.
Joe Gibbs Racing has struggled to win races everyone except Harrison Burton and Denny Hamlin. More specifically, Hamlin has won four races since the season resumed. He won at least two races at intermediate tracks. He was dominating the race late until he blew his right front tire with less than five laps to go. As a result, his car turned hard right and hit the wall with high velocity. The wreck was the second scary wreck involving a Joe Gibbs Racing car. Links to the results and standings are listed below.
Neither driver have won at Kentucky since the series returned to the intermediate track. That will change. Vegas odds makers show Martin Truex Jr. is the prohibitive favorite to win the Quaker State 400. https://www.vegasinsider.com/auto-racing/odds/futures/.
Hamlin is a prohibitive favorite to win the Championship, tied with Harvick. Briscoe is the prohibitive favorite to win the Xfinity Series championship. Scott Dixon’s dominance is as obvious as it can be. He will be a favorite to win every race and the prohibitive favorite to win the Championship.