Sunday, July 12, 2020
NASCAR Cup Series

Cole Custer wins first career Cup Series race with thrilling four-wide pass

July 12, 2020 - By Holly Cain - NASCAR Wire Service

NASCAR Cup Series rookie Cole Custer pulled off a daring four-wide pass for the lead on the final lap to earn the victory in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway – the first rookie to win in NASCAR’s premier series in four years.

Custer, who restarted fifth on a restart with two laps to go, made his way forward - daring to go high on track to the outside of a three-wide challenge for the lead among Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick. The 22-year old Custer held the high line and was able to get around the three veterans - ultimately holding off the 2017 series champion Truex – a two-time former Kentucky winner – by a mere .271-seconds to earn the victory.

The Californian’s five laps led Sunday (four early in the race and then the final lap) were the first laps Custer had ever led in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Matt DiBenedetto, Harvick and 2019 Kentucky winner Kurt Busch finished third, fourth and fifth. Blaney, rookie Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and rookie Tyler Reddick rounded out the Top-10. It’s the first time in NASCAR history three rookies have finished in the Top-10 in a race.

"We were so good all day, our car was so good," a beaming Custer said after climbing out of his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford on the front stretch and sharing hugs and high-fives with his Stewart-Haas Racing crew members.

"Obviously it wasn’t the easiest track to pass on so we were kind of stuck back there, but that was the best car I’ve ever driven in my life."

It was certainly a dramatic conclusion to a race that featured a dominant Almirola early on. He led a race best 128 of the 267 laps – the most laps led in a race ever for the driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. 

Almirola won the opening stage, ahead of Chase Elliott and Joey Logano. Keselowski won the second stage over Blaney and Custer.  Caution flags were frequent in the closing laps and the pace of the race became a lot more intense.

Truex, who started last in the 38-car field after an issue in pre-race inspection, made his bold move forward in the final 100 laps. He took the lead for the first time with 94 laps remaining and his 57 laps out front were second only to Almirola as kept the field honest in the closing stage.

Four cautions in the final 35 laps, however, created drama on each restart with Blaney, Truex and Harvick contending for the lead. That’s exactly when Custer made his four-wide move at the end to earn the biggest win of his young life.

Even more impressive is that these first-year NASCAR Cup Series drivers were able to excel with no practice or qualifying sessions – all precautions NASCAR has instituted since retuning to competition following the COVID-19 break in action.

"It’s not easy," Custer allowed. "You’ve got to kind of adapt as much as you can. I think we’ve gotten better and better at that. It’s just unbelieveable. I didn’t think we were coming here and going to win. And now we’re gonna be in the All-Star Race. 

"It’s unbelievable. We had a great car all day, one of the best cars I’ve ever driven in my life. It was hard to get to the front. Once we got there, we took advantage of it and I just can’t thank everybody at the [Stewart-Haas Racing] shop."

"I think the start of the year was not what we wanted,’’ Custer continued. "We were definitely far off at some places, but I think we’re starting to put it all together and I’m looking forward to it."

Although obviously, disappointed not to win, Custer’s SHR teammate Harvick was quick to praise his young teammate.

"We were in position to win, you know," Harvick said. "Made it through turns one and two, Martin just misjudged on the backstretch and got into us and I had to check up. Next thing I know we were four wide on the front straightaway and then the 12 [Blaney) hit the drain and went back up race track.

"Just congratulations to Cole Custer," Harvick said. "Last week he was a big part of our win [at Indianapolis]. To get to victory lane in your rookie year is a big deal. I’m really happy for Gene [Haas] and everyone at [Haas Automation] and especially for Cole. He works really hard."

Harvick holds an 88-point advantage over Keselowski in the championship standings as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway on July 19 for the next points race. The series will compete in the exhibition All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway this Wednesday.

NASCAR Cup Series Race - 10th Annual Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart
Kentucky Speedway
Sparta, Kentucky
Sunday, July 12, 2020

  1. (29)  Cole Custer #, Ford, 267.
  2. (9)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
  3. (10)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 267.
  4. (3)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
  5. (7)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267.
  6. (11)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.
  7. (34)  Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 267.
  8. (4)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 267.
  9. (6)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
  10. (24)  Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (21)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 267.
  12. (12)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
  13. (19)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  14. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Ford, 267.
  15. (2)  Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
  16. (33)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  17. (23)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 267.
  18. (20)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267.
  19. (5)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
  20. (13)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 267.
  21. (1)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
  22. (16)  Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.
  23. (8)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 267.
  24. (30)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 267.
  25. (17)  Matt Kenseth, Chevrolet, 267.
  26. (37)  Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 267.
  27. (18)  Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 265.
  28. (27)  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 264.
  29. (14)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 264.
  30. (36)  JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 260.
  31. (31)  Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 259.
  32. (26)  Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 257.
  33. (25)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 257.
  34. (35)  Joey Gase(i), Ford, 257.
  35. (28)  Quin Houff #, Chevrolet, 255.
  36. (22)  John Hunter Nemechek #, Ford, Accident, 248.
  37. (38)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Electrical, 170.
  38. (32)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Transmission, 159.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  133.636 mph.
Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 59 Mins, 49 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .271 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  8 for 42 laps.
Lead Changes:  13 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Busch 1-9;A. Almirola 10-137;R. Blaney 138-149;M. DiBenedetto 150;B. Keselowski 151-180;M. Truex Jr. 181-219;B. Keselowski 220-223;C. Custer # 224-227;W. Byron 228-231;M. Truex Jr. 232-248;R. Blaney 249-254;K. Harvick 255-265;M. Truex Jr. 266;C. Custer # 267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Aric Almirola 1 time for 128 laps; Martin Truex Jr. 3 times for 57 laps; Brad Keselowski 2 times for 34 laps; Ryan Blaney 2 times for 18 laps; Kevin Harvick 1 time for 11 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 9 laps; Cole Custer # 2 times for 5 laps; William Byron 1 time for 4 laps; Matt DiBenedetto 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 10,9,22,21,12,4,88,1,14,19

Stage #2 Top Ten: 2,12,41,22,19,88,3,48,21,20




Saturday, July 11, 2020
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Sheldon Creed earns first career Gander Trucks win in rain-shortened race

July 11, 2020 - By Holly Cain - NASCAR Wire Service

Sheldon Creed prevailed in a frantic three-wide restart on Lap 52 of Saturday’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race and held the spot through the second stage break, earning his first career series victory when lightning and rain showers forced the race to be called official 71 laps into the scheduled 150-lapper.

Menacing weather around Kentucky Speedway ultimately caused teams to race the skies as well as each other and Creed’s bold move around Kentucky native Ben Rhodes and rookie Zane Smith on that restart turned out to be the trophy-maker.

Rhodes, who won here in 2018 and defending series champion Matt Crafton, who rallied from sixth place on that restart ultimately finished second and third. Johnny Sauter and series championship leader Austin Hill rounded out the top 5.

Rookies Christian Eckes, Smith, Derek Kraus and Tanner Gray finished sixth through ninth with Todd Gilliland rounding out the top 10. Another former series champion, Brett Moffitt, who led a race best 27 laps, finished 11th after having to come back up through the field following a pit stop penalty at the conclusion of Stage 1.

It was all Moffitt in the early going. He started on pole and set the pace for the first 27 laps, but Smith got around Moffitt on a Lap 26 restart and was able to hold the point to earn his first stage win of the season.

Differing pit strategies, however, put Parker Kligerman, Crafton, Rhodes and Austin Wayne Self in front to start Stage 2 and they held their own even against the cars with fresher tires. Rhodes took the lead on Lap 46 but was beaten by Creed’s aggressive move to the bottom of the track in that frantic restart on Lap 52.  He led 20 laps on the night.

Creed, driver of the No. 2 GMS Chevrolet, earned his career-first win in only his 37th series start. The 22-year old Californian’s previous best finish was runner-up – twice - at Eldora and Michigan last season.

"It feels awesome. I’d really like to have finished that out and get the real checkered flag," said Creed, who conceded he was a little nervous going to the bottom of the race track to make that winning move after watching the Xfinity and ARCA Menards Series races earlier at Kentucky.

Ultimately, it all worked out for him.

"Have to thank all my guys, who have been putting so much time in the shop," Creed said, also thanking his family, friends, sponsors and the GMS team for this significant accomplishment in his young career.

"Really wish I could have gotten to the finish line and finished that out right but I’ll take this win."

Hill’s fifth place finish was his seventh top 10 in the season’s seven races and he now holds a commanding 47-point advantage over Rhodes in the championship standings.  Creed joins two-race winner Grant Enfinger as the two full-time truck series drivers with victories on the season.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Race - 10th Annual Buckle Up In Your Truck 225
Kentucky Speedway
Sparta, Kentucky
Saturday, July 11, 2020

  1. (8)  Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 71.
  2. (6)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 71.
  3. (14)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 71.
  4. (11)  Johnny Sauter, Ford, 71.
  5. (5)  Austin Hill, Toyota, 71.
  6. (4)  Christian Eckes #, Toyota, 71.
  7. (2)  Zane Smith #, Chevrolet, 71.
  8. (17)  Derek Kraus #, Toyota, 71.
  9. (21)  Tanner Gray #, Ford, 71.
  10. (9)  Todd Gilliland, Ford, 71.
  11. (1)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 71.
  12. (7)  Grant Enfinger, Ford, 71.
  13. (13)  Raphael Lessard #, Toyota, 71.
  14. (31)  Spencer Davis #, Toyota, 71.
  15. (12)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 71.
  16. (3)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, 71.
  17. (32)  Brennan Poole(i), Toyota, 71.
  18. (37)  Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 71.
  19. (16)  Ty Majeski #, Chevrolet, 71.
  20. (27)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 71.
  21. (25)  Tate Fogleman #, Chevrolet, 71.
  22. (10)  Chandler Smith, Toyota, 71.
  23. (30)  Cory Roper, Ford, 71.
  24. (28)  Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 71.
  25. (23)  Angela Ruch, Toyota, 71.
  26. (33)  Clay Greenfield, Toyota, 71.
  27. (18)  Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 71.
  28. (39)  Dawson Cram, Chevrolet, 70.
  29. (15)  Natalie Decker, Chevrolet, 70.
  30. (26)  Tyler Hill, Chevrolet, 70.
  31. (19)  Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 70.
  32. (36)  Ray Ciccarelli, Chevrolet, 70.
  33. (24)  Bryant Barnhill, Toyota, 69.
  34. (22)  Korbin Forrister, Toyota, 69.
  35. (34)  Tim Viens, Chevrolet, Handling, 55.
  36. (40)  Trey Hutchens III, Chevrolet, Accident, 50.
  37. (35)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Accident, 48.
  38. (29)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 46.
  39. (20)  Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, Accident, 13.
  40. (38)  Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Engine, 13.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  97.956 mph.
Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 5 Mins, 14 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags:  7 for 25 laps.
Lead Changes:  6 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Moffitt 1-25;Z. Smith # 26-32;B. Moffitt 33;Z. Smith # 34-37;P. Kligerman 38-45;B. Rhodes 46-51;S. Creed 52-71.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Brett Moffitt 2 times for 26 laps; Sheldon Creed 1 time for 20 laps; Zane Smith # 2 times for 11 laps; Parker Kligerman 1 time for 8 laps; Ben Rhodes 1 time for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 21,23,2,18,26,38,98,19,16,11

Stage #2 Top Ten: 2,99,88,13,16,18,21,19,15,38





Saturday, July 11, 2020
ARCA Menards Series

Ty Gibbs Rebounds To Grab Another Win At Kentucky


SPARTA, Ky. — Ty Gibbs kept his race car off the wall and, in the end, put it in Victory Lane.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, managed to avoid spinning into the wall while battling for the lead with just under 40 laps to go, and then charged back to the front to win the General Tire 150 Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.  In the process, Gibbs became the youngest winner in the track’s history at 17 years, nine months, seven days. He eclipsed the record set by Kyle Busch, who had just turned 18 when he won the ARCA Menards Series race at the 1.5-mile track in 2003.

RELATED: General Tire 150 Results | Ty Gibbs Career Statistics

Gibbs, the grandson of NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs and a JGR development driver, took a page from "Rowdy’s" book when he saved the car from a potential race-ending wreck. Gibbs was attempting to fend off a charge from Michael Self on a restart following the second of two race breaks. When the two got together, the contact sent them sideways out of the groove — and out of the lead.

Once he got the No. 18 Monster/Terrible Herbst/ORCA Toyota righted, Gibbs was able to pick his way back to the front. He passed Bret Holmes — who had inherited the lead during the dust-up — and drove away to a win by 1.247 seconds. It marked Gibbs’ second win in four ARCA Menards Series starts this year, and his seventh win across the ARCA Menards, East and West series over the last two seasons.

Friday’s victory also helped him rebound from one of his worst career finishes a week ago, when engine issues left him 15th at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Holmes, who was chasing his first career win in 67 starts, instead had to settle for a career-best second-place.

Self wound up making his way back through as well to salvage a third-place run. It was his sixth straight top 10 to start the season. Sam Mayer and Drew Dollar were fourth and fifth, respectively. Ryan Repko finished sixth, followed by Derek Griffith, Ryan Huff, Tanner Gray and Jason Kitzmiller.

Hailie Deegan, who entered the race second in points behind Self, was involved in an accident on Lap 77 after contact with Dollar while running fourth and finished 14th. That moved Holmes and Dollar to second in points, each 22 back of Self, and dropped Deegan to fourth. She is 24 points out of the lead.





ALSCO 300 
Friday, July 10, 2020
NASCAR Xfinity Series

Austin Cindric sweeps Kentucky Speedway doubleheader

July 10, 2020 - By Holly Cain - NASCAR Wire Service

Austin Cindric won his career first oval race at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday night and answered it with the most dominant win of his career in Friday night’s Alsco 300, the second half of the Bluegrass state NASCAR Xfinity Series doubleheader.

Cindric led 130 of the 200 laps in the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford – nearly doubling the most laps he’s ever led in a race – and finished 2.262-seconds ahead of fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe. It marks the first time a driver has won NASCAR national series races on consecutive nights since Richard Petty did it in 1971.

"I’m just so excited, this is all a credit to my team," Cindric said. "What we did tonight was really impressive because we came with one set-up last night and won the race and came with another set-up tonight and won again. That happens at the shop and with the guys on the box so all the credit to them, I’m the lucky one who gets to drive."

Kaulig Racing teammates Justin Haley and Ross Chastain finished third and fourth, followed by JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier. Anthony Alfredo, Noah Gragson, Michael Annett, Daniel Hemric and Riley Herbst rounded out the top 10.

As the laps led total indicates, this was the most dominant victory of the 21-year old Cindric’s career – both in laps out front and the way he did it. He was leading the field by almost 12-seconds when a caution came out with 22 laps remaining for an incident between Brandon Jones and Hemric, who were running second and third at the time.

Both Jones and Hemric hit the wall racing hard side-by-side for second place. Hemric was able to continue but Jones’ car was badly damaged.

The front-runners opted to pit during the ensuing caution period and Cindric won the race off pit road, holding the point for the remaining 13-lap green flag run on the 1.5-mile track.

As Cindric was celebrating the fourth win of his career on the front-straight, however, Gragson and 12th place finisher Harrison Burton were involved in a pushing match by their parked cars. The two collided in the final laps, both brushing the wall before continuing on – a top-10 for Gragson but a 12th place finish for Burton’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Team members pulled the drivers apart and both spoke on FS1’s live telecast afterward.

Burton, 19, indicated it was not the first time Gragson, 21, had derailed a finishing position for him and conceded the physical altercation was just a matter of frustration. He had been on pace for a top-5 finish before the contact.

"He put us in fence at Charlotte and now here," Burton said. "I had a lot of people coming up to me afterwards telling that [confrontation] was a long time coming."

"I was just frustrated," he said. 

For his part, Gragson said he needed to go back and look at race replays to see exactly what transpired.

"We’re all racing hard," he said. "I really don’t have a comment, haven’t seen everything that happened [on track]."

Beyond Cindric’s Kentucky domination, perhaps the night’s next most impressive work came from the veteran Allgaier, who rallied to his fifth-place finish after going a lap down almost immediately on the night. A piece of Kyle Weatherman’s wrecked Chevrolet impacted Allgaier’s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet on the opening lap of the race. He had to come in for repairs and spent the night rallying to his first top-5 in more than a month.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race - 20th Annual Alsco 300
Kentucky Speedway
Sparta, Kentucky
Friday, July 10, 2020

  1. (15)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 200.
  2. (12)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 200.
  3. (9)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (13)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (20)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (10)  Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (5)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (11)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (34)  Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (14)  Riley Herbst #, Toyota, 200.
  11. (4)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.
  12. (17)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 200.
  13. (27)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 199.
  14. (2)  Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, 198.
  15. (26)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 198.
  16. (31)  Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 198.
  17. (6)  Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, 197.
  18. (29)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 197.
  19. (30)  Matt Mills, Toyota, 197.
  20. (18)  BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 197.
  21. (32)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 197.
  22. (3)  Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, 197.
  23. (28)  Mason Massey, Toyota, 196.
  24. (24)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 196.
  25. (22)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 195.
  26. (21)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 194.
  27. (33)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 194.
  28. (23)  Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 193.
  29. (25)  Kody Vanderwal #, Chevrolet, 192.
  30. (36)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, Accident, 178.
  31. (1)  Myatt Snider #, Chevrolet, Accident, 156.
  32. (19)  Ronnie Bassett Jr, Chevrolet, Vibration, 73.
  33. (16)  Chad Finchum, Toyota, Electrical, 66.
  34. (35)  Stephen Leicht, Toyota, Fuel Pump, 52.
  35. (7)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, Suspension, 22.
  36. (8)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, Accident, 0.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  134.916 mph.
Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 13 Mins, 25 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.262 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  5 for 27 laps.
Lead Changes:  8 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Snider # 0;J. Clements 1-11;N. Gragson 12-48;H. Burton # 49-61;A. Cindric 62-148;C. Briscoe 149-150;H. Burton # 151-152;R. Chastain 153-157;A. Cindric 158-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Austin Cindric 2 times for 130 laps; Noah Gragson 1 time for 37 laps; Harrison Burton # 2 times for 15 laps; Jeremy Clements 1 time for 11 laps; Ross Chastain 1 time for 5 laps; Chase Briscoe 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 9,20,22,21,19,18,98,51,8,10

Stage #2 Top Ten: 22,21,20,98,8,18,19,9,11,51





Thursday, July 9, 2020
NASCAR Xfinity Series

Austin Cindric earns overtime victory at Kentucky

July 9, 2020 - By Holly Cain - NASCAR Wire Service

Austin Cindric won a two-lap overtime duel at Kentucky Speedway racing door-to-door with his good friend and former teammate Chase Briscoe to earn his career first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory on an oval track.

Cindric, who led 41 laps on the night, ultimately finished .952-seconds ahead of rookie Riley Herbst and Ross Chastain to take the victory in Saturday’s Shady Rays 200 – the first of a doubleheader week that will include a second Xfinity Series Kentucky race, the Alsco 300 on Friday night (8 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Briscoe, who started on the inside of Cindric on a restart in overtime, pulled ahead briefly, but Cindric’s No. 22 Penske Racing Ford rallied back by and he rode off to his first victory of 2020, securing a ticket to the Xfinity Series Playoffs. It marked a record eighth time in the 14 races this season that the pass for victory came in the final two laps.

"Thank you, FINALLY," an exuberant Cindric screamed into his team radio after passing under the checkered flag.

"We’ve come so close all year, these guys have given me so many awesome cars," Cindric told the FS1 broadcast.

"I’m pumped. This is awesome. I’d love to be able to come back and enjoy another performance like that tomorrow night. All the credit to my guys for getting me here."

Briscoe, a five-race winner and the Xfinity Series championship leader, finished fourth followed by Michael Annett. Anthony Alfredo finished sixth, followed by Justin Haley, Kyle Weatherman, Ryan Sieg and Brett Moffitt. It was a career best finish for Weatherman.

Noah Gragson, who led a race best 88 of the 136 laps and for the first time in his career, swept the opening two stage wins, finished 11th. He and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier were running among the Top-5 on the restart and were poised to challenge for the trophy, but they made contact racing hard on the 1.5-mile high-banked oval and it cost them both better finishes. Allgaier was involved in an accident on the last lap and finished 20th.

Briscoe, who led five laps and ran among the Top-5 for most of the night, solidified his championship lead on a night he insisted was a true challenge for his No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing team.

"Thought we were gonna have a chance [to win] on both restarts but that last one just got real loose, but overall felt like this was our worst night of the year from the speed and balance standpoint and we were still able to race Austin for the win and end up fourth," Briscoe said.

Cindric, who was elated with the victory – dramatically planting the checkered flag in the infield -  joked about having to hold off Briscoe.

"I love the guy but he’s won enough, geez" Cindric joked of Briscoe, who passed him last weekend for victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. 

"Those restarts were a lot tougher than I was thinking they would be," he said, adding, "I’m just so happy. Thank you to [team owner] Roger [Penske]. I believe this is a championship team."

Friday night’s race will feature a partial inversion of Thursday night’s finishing order. The top 15 finishers will start in reverse order, which puts rookie Myatt Snider on the pole for the Alsco 300.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race - Shady Rays 200
Kentucky Speedway
Sparta, Kentucky
Thursday, July 9, 2020 

  1. (12)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 136.
  2. (23)  Riley Herbst #, Toyota, 136.
  3. (2)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 136.
  4. (7)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 136.
  5. (4)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 136.
  6. (11)  Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 136.
  7. (9)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 136.
  8. (30)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 136.
  9. (8)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 136.
  10. (13)  Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, 136.
  11. (1)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 136.
  12. (20)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 136.
  13. (31)  Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, 136.
  14. (14)  Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, 136.
  15. (28)  Myatt Snider #, Chevrolet, 136.
  16. (32)  Chad Finchum, Toyota, 136.
  17. (5)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 136.
  18. (17)  BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 136.
  19. (22)  Ronnie Bassett Jr, Chevrolet, Accident, 135.
  20. (10)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 135.
  21. (33)  Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Accident, 135.
  22. (27)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 135.
  23. (34)  Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 134.
  24. (16)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 134.
  25. (25)  Kody Vanderwal #, Chevrolet, 134.
  26. (18)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 133.
  27. (19)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 132.
  28. (26)  Mason Massey, Toyota, 130.
  29. (24)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Suspension, 129.
  30. (35)  Matt Mills, Toyota, 122.
  31. (15)  Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, Brakes, 120.
  32. (21)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, Accident, 119.
  33. (36)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 54.
  34. (3)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, Accident, 45.
  35. (29)  Stephen Leicht, Toyota, Electrical, 21.
  36. (6)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, Accident, 0.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  109.759 mph.
Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 51 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags:  9 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes:  6 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   N. Gragson 1-33;C. Briscoe 34-37;N. Gragson 38-91;J. Haley 92-94;A. Cindric 95-133;C. Briscoe 134;A. Cindric 135-136.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Noah Gragson 2 times for 87 laps; Austin Cindric 2 times for 41 laps; Chase Briscoe 2 times for 5 laps; Justin Haley 1 time for 3 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 9,20,22,10,21,1,11,7,39,02

Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,22,98,10,18,7,1,39,68,21