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Briscoe Overcomes Pit Lane Spin to Finish Fourth at Talladega

The calm before the storm for Chase Briscoe at Talladega. (Photo: Trish McCormack | The Podium Finish)

LINCOLN, Ala. – What happens in Talladega, stays in Talladega.

This is a phrase most folks use to describe a place like Las Vegas.

For Chase Briscoe, he had a Talladega fashion afternoon after rallying back from an early incident to finish fourth in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

On a day when it appeared his race was a lost cause, Briscoe found a way to avoid the late harrowing wrecks in Turn 1 to extend his top-five streak to three races heading to next Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway.

Briscoe battling front runners Bubba Wallace and Ty Gibbs. (Photo: Riley Thompson | The Podium Finish)

At one point in the race-extended 196 laps, Briscoe was two laps down after being one of two victims who slid onto pit road. Joining Tyler Reddick, Briscoe lost control and slid ahead of Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece at the entrance of pit lane.

With Reddick’s ordeal, he crashed coming to pit road, but did not brought out a caution. However, Briscoe’s pit road spin warranted a yellow on Lap 44 for multiple reasons.

Despite Reddick’s car being damaged and requiring extensive repairs, Reddick was able to get back going.

Briscoe wasn’t as fortunate because his No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang was unable to accelerate onto his pit stall all thanks to flat spotting his Goodyear Eagles, leaving him stuck in a hot spot of pit road.

It led to a little burnout show, channeling his boss and guest FOX commentator Tony Stewart’s moniker of “Smoke.” Ironically, it occurred on a day where his likeness appeared on the door of Briscoe’s No. 14 machine as part of the sponsor’s “Old Goat” ad campaign.

Rather than being a victory donut, it was more of a Bill Elliott donut show during an IROC race in 1993 as Briscoe tried hard to get going, but flat tires could only get him so far.

Due to the unideal show, fans and even crew members were filming the stationary Mustang. Briscoe was able to continue, but had a lot of work to do with a bit of luck needed to come his way.

As Chase Elliott, who was making his second Cup race since returning from injury, won the opening stage, Briscoe got one of his two laps back.

Briscoe had his work cut out off in Stage 2. (Photo: Riley Thompson | The Podium Finish)

However, he needed another caution to get him back on the lead lap and with the second stage going wire-to-wire under green, it was a struggle. Briscoe lost out on a free pass opportunity to Joey Logano, a front runner who sped after exiting pit road during the second cycle of green flag pit stops.

Soon enough, luck was on Briscoe’s side and it happened on Lap 143. A multi-car crash caused by Noah Gragson after turning Harrison Burton around in Turn 3 allowed Briscoe to get the free pass, ready to rebound.

“I made a huge mistake coming to pit road. We’re two laps down, and then we were one and was going to get the lucky dog at the end of Stage 2, and then Logano had that speeding penalty and barely got us for the lucky dog,” said Briscoe.

“It was a battle all day long – very similar to how we kind of were at the end of last year, just continuing to fight and keep doing everything we could to try to maximize our day.”

In the second attempt of overtime, he was inside the top-10. His other big break was committing himself in the middle lane with Martin Truex, Jr. and Austin Cindric, hoping their lane was the path towards victory, especially when the race was down to the final 2.66 miles of a sudden chaotic race.

Briscoe working his way back towards the front battle. (Photo: Riley Thompson | The Podium Finish)

Victory Lane was not meant to be as a bad block from leader Bubba Wallace resulted in Ryan Blaney running into him, causing the biggest crash in terms of car count of the afternoon. Truex and Cindric were collected in the accordion effect after Cindric ran into the back of Truex, sending him into the path of AJ Allmendinger.

Meanwhile, Briscoe barely made a move and found an opening to clear the wreckage unscathed and scored his best finish of the season.

What looked like a miserable afternoon turned into mesmerizing luck for the Indiana racer. Sometimes, it’s OK when racing at Talladega, especially when Briscoe dealt with tremendous pain on his surgically repaired middle finger on his left hand that nagged him tremendously.

“At the end, find ourselves up there and in the top-five,” said Briscoe. “I would have loved to have a little bit more, but if you told me we were going to finish fourth there – at any point of the race really, even there with 20 to go. We were so stuck in the back and couldn’t really do anything. So, cool to get this Mahindra ‘Old Goat’ car  in the top-five and looking forward to next week.”

With 10 races down in the 2023 season, Briscoe’s momentum continues to rise as he enters Dover ranked 15th in the regular season standings, gaining five spots over the past month. Although he dropped a spot to William Byron in points after the GEICO 500, he is still 14 points above the cutoff line with 16 races left before the Playoffs begin in September.

Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR and INDYCAR. Content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going. On the side, I also do sports production ranging from Seattle Kraken hockey to the 2023 NCAA Women's March Madness. All for the love of the game. With four National Motorsports Press Association photography awards, I'm not slowing down anytime soon. Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to HAIM. At times, there might be some Paul Thomas Anderson and Southern California references in my social media.

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