Chase Briscoe won’t let spins at Bristol, Charlotte deter his quest for wins


MADISON, Ill. — Twice in six weeks, Chase Briscoe saw a chance at victory slip away when he spun attempting to pass for the lead.

While his last-lap attempt in the Bristol dirt race was more a desperate move, what happened in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 lingers as Briscoe prepares to lead to the field to green in today’s inaugural Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

Briscoe says he watched the fateful moment two laps from the scheduled end of last week’s race “literally 15 or 20 times … trying to figure out really what I did, because I didn’t feel like I did anything different than I had done the whole time.”

MORE: Cup starting lineup

MORE: Details for Sunday’s Cup race

Briscoe, who went on to finish fourth last weekend, said he examined data but was left with questions about why he spun while racing Kyle Larson for the lead.

“I was trying to go in there and run underneath him and try to be at his left rear by the exit (of Turn 2) but spun out as soon as I got to the middle” of the corner, Briscoe said. “I was trying to understand (what happened). That way if I’m in that situation again, what can I do different? That one definitely stung a lot more than races in the past.”

Briscoe admits a moment four laps from the scheduled end of that race also stands out. He was underneath Larson’s car and had cleared him but didn’t move up into Larson’s lane. Larson got back next to Briscoe.

“Looking back on it, when I slid in with four to go I was clear for literally a quarter of a second,” Briscoe said. “I didn’t take it. I wanted to try to leave him a lane.

“I wish now I would have taken it. I just felt like if I did that, I was probably going to put him in the fence at the time, so I didn’t take it. Then I spin out two laps later. Now I wish I would have taken it and dealt with it.”

Briscoe’s focus turns to today’s 240-lap race on the 1.25-mile speedway within sight of the The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. While he failed to win at Charlotte and Bristol, it won’t change his style if he’s racing for the lead again.

“You’ve got to try to win, especially now with how the format is,” said Briscoe, who scored his first career win at Phoenix in March. “Not that points don’t matter, but in the playoffs, you are guaranteed in if you have two wins. Wins, that’s just how the new format is. Wins mean a lot. 

“For us, yea, if you get an opportunity to win a race, you’ve got to try to win the race. That’s what I’m paid to do. That’s what the whole goal of the race is. … Obviously I need to not wreck myself while going for it. 

“Bristol and Charlotte look the same, but the intent and the move was totally different. At Charlotte, I just flat spun out and messed up. Bristol, I was trying to send it in there and hope that I could clear (Tyler Reddick) and obviously I didn’t. 

“Hopefully we’re in contention (Sunday). I feel we real good in practice and see if we can be there.”

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

MORE: Truck points after COTA

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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