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USA USA
NASCAR Cup New Hampshire

Chase Briscoe on Loudon runner-up: "The rain saved us for sure"

As it turned out, a long rain delay was the answer Chase Briscoe needed to get a strong finish out of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Briscoe, who drives the No. 14 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, was mired mid-pack for much of Sunday’s race and outside the top 10 when the race was halted after 219 laps for thunderstorms.

NASCAR, however, waited out a nearly two-hour, 15-minute delay and resumed the race, running the final 77 laps on wet weather tires.

The tire and condition changes brought Briscoe to life. So much so, that it left him sharing the front row with leader Christopher Bell on the final overtime restart with a chance at an improbable victory.

Bell got a big jump on the field on the restart as Briscoe battled his SHR teammate Josh Berry before Briscoe eventually settled for the runner-up finish, just his second top-five of the year.

“The rain saved us for sure. We were terrible in the dry,” Briscoe said. “We knew typically on the road courses and even the ovals that we’ve ran in the rain we’ve been pretty good truthfully.

“I didn’t expect to drive up to second, but yeah, really good recovery.”

Briscoe, who has struggled this season, said he found it hard to believe he ended the race with an opportunity at a much-needed win.

“It was fun racing at the end and slipping and sliding around. The track was changing a lot,” he said. “It was a lot like sprint car racing, and the groove was literally changing lap in and lap out.

“If you would have told me two hours ago that we would have ran second, I don’t think I would have believed you, but overall, yeah, great day for us, and definitely needed one to turn the ship around.

“It’s been a real struggle.”

Despite the up-and-down season, Sunday’s runner-up finish helped Briscoe’s playoff fortunes greatly.

He is now 16th in the series standings and 24 points behind Joey Logano, who currently holds the final playoff spot on points with eight races remaining in the regular season.

“We had a couple of good restarts, and the guys did a good job of understanding the rain balance. I think we learned a lot when we did (the rain tires) at Richmond,” Briscoe said.

“We needed a good turnaround day, and it definitely didn’t start that way but I am glad that it ended up that way for sure.”

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