BRISTOL, TENN – It looked like Chase Briscoe and Tyler Reddick would battle it out on the last laps Sunday on the dirt track of Bristol Motor Speedway. The two drivers reached the final lap of a twice-delayed Food City Dirt Race separated by just a split-second. They were nearly three seconds ahead of third-place racer Kyle Busch. On the final turn, Briscoe had the opening he needed to pass Reddick, and he took his shot.
But instead of passing Reddick, he spun out along with Reddick. Reddick recovered and tried to pick up enough speed to get to the start-finish line, but Busch raced past him in the No. 18 car to pick up his first win of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was .330 of a second.
There were 14 caution periods for a total of 82 laps. Twenty-six of the 36 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
Reddick finished second and faulted himself for not holding off Briscoe. Briscoe went from two turns away from the win to 22nd and immediately found Reddick on pit road to apologize.
“I was going to spin out, I think, either way,” Briscoe said. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to let you know. I am sorry. I wish you would have won.”
Briscoe won Stage 2 to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point. Briscoe led twice for 59 laps – his first laps led in the Food City Dirt Race.
“I was running Tyler (Reddick) down and I just tried throwing a slider. I didn’t expect him to drive in there on me and I was spinning out, I think, either way, and I hit him,” said Briscoe. “I feel terrible. I was wanting to race him clean. I wasn’t going to wreck him for the win. That’s why I tried to slide him and I was trying to leave him enough room if I didn’t get there and that was my fault, 100 percent. I hate it for Tyler. He’s a good friend of mine and I wanted to see a dirt guy win if it wasn’t me. That was just racing. I was trying to go for the win and I feel terrible for him.”
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
SHR Race Finish:
- Cole Custer (Started 1st, Finished 13th / Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
- Chase Briscoe (Started 4th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
- Aric Almirola (Started 31st, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
- Kevin Harvick (Started 32nd, Finished 34th / Accident, completed 100 of 250 laps)
- Chase Briscoe (10th with 245 points, 79 out of first)
- Aric Almirola (12th with 237 points, 87 out of first)
- Kevin Harvick (13th with 225 points, 99 out of first)
- Cole Custer (24th with 159 points, 165 out of first)
Custer won the Busch Light Pole Award for the Food City Dirt Race by driving from ninth to second in his heat race on Saturday. The passing points he tallied in his heat race earned Custer the pole, his first in the NASCAR Cup Series. Custer secured his second top-15 of the season and his first top-15 in two career starts in the Food City Dirt Race. Custer’s 13th-place finish bettered his previous best result in the Food City Dirt Race – 24th, earned in the inaugural race in March 2021.
Almirola’s 23rd-place finish bettered his previous best result in the Food City Dirt Race – 36th, earned in March 2021.
Chase Elliott remains the championship leader after Bristol with a three-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.
“We did a terrible job prepping the track and full of mud and there was nobody here to pack the track, so we all look like a bunch of bozos coming in to pit because we don’t know how to prep the track,” said Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Latte Ford Mustang. “And then we don’t get the lucky dog for whatever reason with two cars on pit road, and then we got run over. I don’t know who ran us over at the end.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 24 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.