Right Front Tire, Not NASCAR Penalty Dooms Chase Briscoe at COTA

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 27: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 ONX Homes/iFly Chevrolet, and Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 Mahindra Tractors Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on March 27, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Chase Briscoe seemed to have a pretty good shot at becoming a two-time winner in NASCAR’s Cup series Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas.

After starting 14th, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver, who scored his first Cup win at Phoenix just weeks ago, was running inside the top 10 finishing Stage 1 on lap 30 in eighth.

Late in the going however, Briscoe was fighting eventual race winner Ross Chastain, and AJ Allmendinger on a late race restart with 12 laps to go.

Entering the esses, as Allmendinger and Chastain fought side by side, they ran Briscoe wide. NASCAR ruled he had short cut Turn 5 and gave him a stop and go penalty. Before he could serve it however, cation came out on lap 57 when Corey LaJoie’s car put fluid on the track. During the caution, NASCAR reviewed the penalty, and in a rare move, rescinded it.

“We were able to keep making the car better through the race and at the end there it felt like we had a chance,” Briscoe said. “The 1 (Chastain) kind of ran me off and I was trying to get back to him and made a mistake and let the 16 by. Then I locked the left front up on a restart and from there every restart after we were just trying to hold on and we blew the right front on the last restart.”

That blown tire relegated Briscoe to 30th. He tried to look at the positives, however.

“We had another really fast Mustang, which is encouraging,” he said. “We had the speed, and we were able to run up front again. We just need to put it all together. That has been the story all year long. If we can put the whole thing together, we are really tough. That is what we did in Phoenix, and we just need to continue doing that.”

Greg Engle