Chase Briscoe dominates at Kansas to punch Champ. 4 ticket

Chase Briscoe has dominated all-season long and it continued Saturday evening as he punched his ticket to the Championship 4 after winning the Kansas playoff race for his ninth victory of 2020.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series concluded a doubleheader at Kansas Speedway Saturday. The thick cloud cover looming over the track gave the race in ominous feel and that’s exactly how it played out.

Pole-sitter Noah Gragson paced the field early, leading the first 14 laps. However, following a Matt Mills Caution, the field went four-wide for the lead on the restart, resulting in Gragson turning fellow playoff driver Austin Cindric and nearly taking out the field. Both Cindric and Gragson collected heavy damage. Gragson retired from the race, while Cindric stayed in multiple laps down.

With Cindric and Gragson out, Chase Briscoe took advantage and went on to lead 26 laps to his 11th stage win of 2020. Brandon Jones scored nine pivotal points in the stage. The remaining playoff drivers left in the race all scored points.

Minus an early caution involving Jeffery Earnhardt, Kody Vanderwal, and Joe Graf Jr, stage two was calm as Briscoe swept the stages on the day. This time, Justin Haley was the only running playoff driver who missed out on stage points as Jones (2nd), Ross Chastain (5th), Justin Allgaier (7th) and Ryan Sieg (9th) all finished inside the top 10.

The final stage started off the same as the second stage with Briscoe and Jones pacing the field. However, with 45 laps to go and Sieg being the only driver not to hit pit road in the final cycle, a caution came out after a mechanical problem for Josh Reaume.

The chaos and tension picked up as with 34 to go, Anthony Alfredo got loose and slid up into Chastain. Chastain hit the wall down the backstretch and Harrison Burton became collateral damage after checking up and getting turned by Haley.

On the ensuing restart, multiple drivers entered turn one below the apron, including Allgaier. With not enough room on the track for five-wide, Allgaier took out Riley Herbst and Alfredo went head-on into the outside wall, flipping over and coming to a stop on his hood. The red flag was displayed immediately. Jones and Brandon Brown were also collected in the wreck.

Sieg took the lead on the restart but he was no match for Briscoe as the No. 98 Ford surged from eighth to first in two laps. A 10th caution on the night came out with 10 to go as Myatt Snider spun out.

On the final restart with three to go, Briscoe was too fast for the field and cruised to the victory.

Daniel Hemric finished second in the Xfinity Series for the seventh time in his career.

Playoff drivers Sieg and Haley and finished third and fourth, respectively, while Austin Hill rounded out the top five for the best finish in his Xfinity Series career.

Josh Williams scored a career-high sixth-place finish.

Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett and playoff drivers Jones and Allgaier rounded out the top 10.

The Round of 8 in the Xfinity Series will continue next Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Race results:

Playoff standings:

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