Josh Williams

Chase Briscoe holds off Kyle Busch for thrilling Darlington Xfinity win

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Chase Briscoe held off Kyle Busch in a thrilling last-lap drag race to the checkered flag to win Thursday’s Toyota 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

It capped an emotional few days for Briscoe. Earlier this week, he and his pregnant wife learned they had lost their first child.

The 23-year-old Briscoe broke into tears after climbing out of his race car, telling FS1: “That’s for my wife. This is the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with. I was crying in the race car and emotionally I wasn’t there at all.

“This is more than a race win, it’s the biggest day of my life after the toughest day of my life. To beat the best there is just so satisfying.”

Click here for results, driver standings

Briscoe, who beat Busch to the checkered flag by .086 seconds, led 44 laps en route to his fourth career Xfinity triumph and second of the season.

Busch finished second, followed by Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric and polesitter Noah Gragson.

If there was a comeback award, Busch would have won hands down. He won Stage 2 and was coming off pit road on the resulting caution when he was caught speeding, sending him to the back of the field for the restart for the final segment.

He quickly moved through the field and came up about one car length short.

“I hated we had the pit road penalty,” Busch said. “No excuses, just got busted for speeding unfortunately, .02 over and had to go to the back. Hopefully we put on a good show for the fans.”

It was the Xfinity Series’ first event since the season was suspended March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The race was scheduled for Tuesday night, but rain forced its postponement to today at Noon ET. Even with that, rain Thursday caused a 4 ½-hour delay until the green flag.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Allgaier had a strong car and appeared to be the only challenge for Briscoe and Busch, but couldn’t get back to the front, having to settle for third.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: It was a bad end to what had been a good day up to that point: Michael Annett was running fourth and charging toward the lead when a tire went down on him with 15 laps to go, leading to a spin that caused significant damage to the right front of his car.

NOTABLE: Brett Moffitt made his first race start since suffering two broken legs in a motocross accident in mid-March and didn’t look too worse for the wear, finishing 11th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Alsco 300, Monday March 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Saturday Night Thunder at virtual Dover: Start time and more

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The virtual Dover NASCAR weekend begins with Saturday Night Thunder.

This is the fourth Saturday Night Thunder event. Logan Seavey won at virtual Bristol. Josh Berry won at virtual Richmond. Landon Huffman won at virtual Talladega.

Tonight’s event will be run with digital Xfinity Series cars. The event is open to Xfinity, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, Pinty’s Series and Whelen Euro Series drivers.

Today’s event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

FORMAT: One-lap, single-car qualifying will set heat race grids. There will be four 10-lap heats. The top  six finishers from each heat race advance to the feature event. There will be a 15-lap last chance race. If more than 40 cars are entered, there will be a second last chance race. Two drivers will transfer from the last chance qualifier to the main event. All heat races will have no cautions. Drivers are allowed one reset in the heat races.

FEATURE RACE: The feature is scheduled to have 26 cars and be 125 laps. The top five finishers from last weekend’s race at virtual Talladega – Landon Huffman, Josh Berry, Joe Graf Jr., Tommy Joe Martins and Spencer Boyd – will start at the rear provided they make the feature. Cautions will be determined by race officials. Drivers are allowed one reset. There will be up to three attempts at a green/white/checkered finish.

ONLINE: Watch at eNASCAR.com/live and on NASCAR’s YouTube Channel.

DRIVERS SCHEDULED TO COMPETE (Subject to change): 

NAME

CAR #

Alex Labbe

90

Angela Ruch

00

Anthony Alfredo

33

Austin Cindric

22

Bayley Currey

74

Blake Koch

57

Brandon Brown

68

Brett Moffitt

23

Chase Briscoe

98

Chase Cabre

4

Christian Eckes

81

CJ McLaughlin

39

Derek Kraus

19

Donny Lia

07

Drew Dollar

015

Drew Herring

3

Elliott Sadler

099

Gus Dean

56

Jeb Burton

8

Jeffrey Earnhardt

50

Jesse Iwuji

36

Joe Graf Jr.

80

Josh Berry

88

Josh Bilicki

99

Josh Williams

92

Justin Allgaier

7

Justin Haley

11

Kaz Grala

29

Landon Huffman

75

Logan Seavey

67

Matt Mills

5

Michael Annett

1

Myatt Snider

93

Noah Gragson

9

Raphael Lessard

04

Ruben Garcia

27

Ryan Ellis

78

Ryan Truex

40

Ryan Vargas

51

Sam Mayer

21

Scott Stenzel

63

Sheldon Creed

74

Spencer Boyd

02

Stephen Leicht

25

Stewart Friesen

52

Thad Moffitt

46

Todd Gilliland

38

Tommy Joe Martin

44

Ty Majeski

45

Tyler Ankrum

26

Will Rodgers

55

Landon Huffman wins chaotic Saturday Night Thunder at virtual Talladega

Photo: NASCAR
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Twice in the final laps the leader was turned, allowing Landon Huffman to win the Saturday Night Thunder iRacing event in overtime at a virtual Talladega Superspeedway.

“It feels like this race win almost means more than a lot of my real-life wins because opportunities in the real world have been tough to come by, so to be able to race against all these guys in an event like this that iRacing puts on is pretty special,” Huffman said on the eNASCAR broadcast after the victory. ”

Huffman, who typically competes in Late Models at Hickory Motor Speedway, has five career Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts since making his series debut in 2017.

Josh Berry finished second and was followed by Joe Graf Jr., Tommy Joe Martins and Spencer Boyd. Drivers competed in Xfinity Series cars around the digital 2.66-mile track.

Tyler Ankrum led in the final laps before a shove by Logan Seavey turned Ankrum, setting up the overtime finish. Ankrum finished 10th.

In overtime, Anthony Alfredo was leading to begin the final lap when a shove from Berry turned Alfredo, who finished 27th in the 40-car field.

“I was able to push Anthony to the lead and he kind kept trying to play back and forth between the two lanes,” Berry said on the eNASCAR broadcast. “Coming out of the tri-oval there he went to the bottom, which kind of was what I was expecting him to try … and then he kind of eased his way back up and I got into his right rear and hooked him. I hate that it happened, but it’s just a product of this kind of racing.”

Berry was the fastest qualifier. Kyle Weatherman and Chase Briscoe won their heat races. Each heat race had a crash that collected several cars. Berry was among those collected in a crash at the start of the second lap in the opening heat race and earned one of the final transfer spots. A crash on the last lap of the second heat stretched the field and Ty Gibbs took the final transfer spot with a smoking car.

RESULTS

FEATURE

  1. Landon Huffman
  2. Josh Berry
  3. Joe Graf Jr.
  4. Tommy Joe Martins
  5. Spencer Boyd
  6. Brett Moffitt
  7. Austin Cindric
  8. Scott Stenzel
  9. CJ McLaughlin
  10. Tyler Ankrum
  11. Ryan Truex
  12. Jeb Burton
  13. Brandon Brown
  14. Will Rodgers
  15. Christian Eckes
  16. Ryan Vargas
  17. Todd Gilliland
  18. Ryan Ellis
  19. Jesse Iwuji
  20. Justin Haley
  21. Drew Herring
  22. Logan Seavey
  23. Matt Mills
  24. Derek Kraus
  25. Josh Bilicki
  26. Myatt Snider
  27. Anthony Alfredo
  28. Bayley Currey
  29. Josh Williams
  30. Justin Allgaier
  31. Stephen Leicht
  32. Drew Dollar
  33. Donny Lia
  34. Chase Briscoe
  35. Chase Cabre
  36. Harrison Burton
  37. Kyle Weatherman
  38. Ty Gibbs
  39. Alex Labbe
  40. Noah Gragson

HEAT 1

(Top 20 transferred to main event)

  1. Kyle Weatherman
  2. Christian Eckes
  3. Bayley Currey
  4. Anthony Alfredo
  5. Justin Allgaier
  6. Noah Gragson
  7. Josh Bilicki
  8. Jesse Iwuji
  9. Drew Herring
  10. Tommy Joe Martins
  11. Josh Williams
  12. Brandon Brown
  13. Harrison Burton
  14. Donny Lia
  15. Landon Huffman
  16. Tyler Ankrum
  17. Jeb Burton
  18. Chase Cabre
  19. Josh Berry
  20. CJ McLaughlin
  21. Gus Dean
  22. Blake Koch
  23. Thad Moffitt
  24. Jeffrey Earnhardt

HEAT 2

(Top 20 transferred to main event)

  1. Chase Briscoe
  2. Alex Labbe
  3. Ryan Vargas
  4. Scott Stenzel
  5. Will Rodgers
  6. Matt Mills
  7. Drew Dollar
  8. Austin Cindric
  9. Derek Kraus
  10. Spencer Boyd
  11. Justin Haley
  12. Stephen Leicht
  13. Logan Seavey
  14. Brett Moffitt
  15. Ryan Truex
  16. Joe Graf Jr.
  17. Ryan Ellis
  18. Todd Gilliland
  19. Myatt Snider
  20. Ty Gibbs
  21. Kaz Grala
  22. Angela Ruch
  23. Ruben Garcia Jr.
  24. Michael Annett

Saturday Night Thunder at virtual Talladega: Start time and more

NASCAR
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It’s Saturday night racing at Talladega Superspeedway!

Wait, Talladega doesn’t have lights.

Then again, anything is possible in the digital world.

The virtual Talladega NASCAR weekend begins with Saturday Night Thunder. This is the third Saturday Night Thunder event. Logan Seavey won at virtual Bristol. Josh Berry won last weekend at virtual Richmond.

Tonight’s event will be run with digital Xfinity Series cars. The event is open to Xfinity, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, Pinty’s Series and Whelen Euro Series drivers.

Among those scheduled to run is Truck Series racer Brett Moffitt, who broke both legs in a motocross bike accident last month.

Today’s event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

FORMAT: Two-lap, single-car qualifying will set heat race grids. There will be two 10-lap heats. The top-20 finishers from each heat advance to the feature event. Drivers are allowed one fast reset to repair damage in the heat races. There will be no cautions in the heat races.

FEATURE RACE: The feature is scheduled to have 40 cars and be 57 laps. Drivers are allowed one fast reset to repair damage. There will be up to three attempts at a green/white/checkered finish.

ONLINE: Watch at eNASCAR.com/live and on NASCAR’s YouTube Channel.

DRIVERS SCHEDULED TO COMPETE (Subject to change): 

#00    Angela Ruch
#02    Spencer Boyd
#04    Raphael Lessard
#07    Donny Lia
#3      Drew Herring
#4      Chase Cabre
#5      Matt Mills
#7      Justin Allgaier
#8      Jeb Burton
#9      Noah Gragson
#10    Justin Haley
#15    Drew Dollar
#18    Ty Gibbs
#19    Derek Kraus
#20    Harrison Burton
#22    Austin Cindric
#23    Brett Moffitt
#25    Stephen Leicht
#26    Tyler Ankrum
#27    Ruben Garcia
#29    Kaz Grala
#33    Anthony Alfredo
#36    Jesse Iwuji
#38    Todd Gilliland
#39    CJ McLaughlin
#40    Ryan Truex
#44    Tommy Joe Martins
#45    Ty Majeski
#46    Thad Moffitt
#50    Jeffrey Earnhardt
#51    Ryan Vargas
#52    Stewart Friesen
#54    Kyle Weatherman
#55    Will Rodgers
#56    Gus Dean
#57    Blake Koch
#63    Scott Stenzel
#67    Logan Seavey
#68    Brandon Brown
#74    Bayley Currey
#75    Landon Huffman
#78    Ryan Ellis
#80    Joe Graf Jr.
#81    Christian Eckes
#88    Josh Berry
#90    Alex Labbe
#92    Josh Williams
#93    Myatt Snider
#98    Chase Briscoe
#99    Josh Bilicki

Ryan Blaney throws helmet into eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series

Ryan Blaney
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When the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series debuted last weekend on a digital Homestead-Miami Speedway, it seemed as if every full-time Cup Series driver was taking part.

In fact, there were a few holdouts. Among them was Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney.

Instead of racing, Blaney served as Chase Elliott’s “crew chief” during the event.

But Sunday Blaney will make his Invitational debut in the race held on a digital Texas Motor Speedway (1 p.m. ET Fox and FS1).

“I’ve never been a big iRacing person for multiple reasons, but it just looked like it was a lot of fun,” Blaney said in a media release. “The thing that pushed me into making it want to happen was seeing how the fans enjoyed it. Social media was blowing up and people really enjoyed just watching some form of racing again, which is nice. I saw their support and their push for me to try to get in, so I was happy we were able to make it happen.”

Since Blaney has Internet connectivity issues where he lives in North Carolina, he’ll be getting some help from his spotter, Josh Williams. Blaney will take part in the race from the rig at Williams’ house.

Blaney put some practice time in on Monday to get accustomed to what iRacing has to offer.

“You want to win the race,” Blaney said. “Competitors are competitors no matter what they’re playing.  You want to win, so that’s why I’m practicing on Josh’s rig a little bit during this week to try and get a feel for it. You don’t want to go in there not knowing anything and make yourself look silly.

“You want to have a shot at it, so you want to try to win the race, but it’s also about having fun and hoping you don’t wreck anybody. The stakes aren’t as high, but, at the end of the day, I believe it’s a good time for everyone.”