NASCAR Cup Series
Chase Briscoe edges Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick at Phoenix
NASCAR Cup Series

Chase Briscoe edges Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick at Phoenix

Published Mar. 13, 2022 10:37 p.m. ET

By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Chase Briscoe thought he was going to wreck his race car. And he was fine with that.

When a driver hasn’t won a Cup race and is in position to finally do so, the driver will do just about anything.

On Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, there were three of them vying for it at the end. 


Briscoe, Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick were among the top four in the final two restarts, and they all had to weigh the risk versus the reward — or, as they say in racing, "wreckers or checkers" — as far as finishing on a wrecker or taking home the checkered flag as the winner.

In his second full-time season at Stewart-Haas Racing, Briscoe held the lead on the final two restarts for his first career win, becoming the 200th winner of a Cup Series race.

"There was no way I wasn’t going to knock the wall down at the angle I was at," he said of the final restart. "I was up in the marbles. Somehow it stuck."

Briscoe, Reddick, Chastain battle for win | NASCAR ON FOX

Watch the highlights from Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway, featuring Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain battling to the finish.

Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!

Here are three takeaways from these three drivers as they battled for the win:

Briscoe emerges victorious

With 20 laps to go, Briscoe had former Cup champion Kevin Harvick beside him and Chastain behind him on a restart. With three laps to go, he had Chastain behind him again, with Reddick beside him on a restart.

The driver sitting behind the leader on the inside of the second row at Phoenix has the opportunity to dart on the apron and make an aggressive move.

"If I lifted, I was going to get beat because then Ross has the lead," Briscoe said afterward. "There is no way I was going to be able to pass him back.

"Like I said, I thought there was no way that I wasn’t going to hit the fence."

His crew chief, Johnny Klausmeier, was fine with that attitude.

"That’s what I expect out of Chase: 100 percent all the time," Klausmeier said. "He’s going to put it on the line, find the limit.

"Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Today it all worked out." 

Chastain settles for second

Chastain is known for his aggressiveness, but he didn’t want to wreck Briscoe. He and Reddick also have respect for each other.

Chastain indicated that it was on the next-to-last restart that he maybe had his best chance, when they all had fresh tires. 

"Chase and I drove down into [Turn] 1, I got inside of him, and I drove way deeper than I meant to," he said. "But I took it and almost had him clear. It was just chattering all four tires, and I ran him all the way to the wall and exit of [Turn] 2.

"Besides wrecking both of us, I couldn't have done any more speed."

Ross Chastain shares his philosophy on final restarts at Phoenix

Ross Chastain describes his approach on the final restarts Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

On the final restart, Chastain didn’t think he had a chance.

"I dialed it back because I knew I wasn’t going to outdrive Chase and Tyler," Chastain said. "When Kevin was outside the front row, I thought I could out-slide him, but I work with Tyler every week, and I know I’m not going to out-slide him." 

Reddick ends up third

Reddick compared that battle to driving on the highway and having people cut you off.

"It’s like, ‘Who is going to lift [off the throttle] first going off into Turn 1?’" he said. "It was a lot of fun. I wish I could have been able to drive it in deeper, but that was all I had. 

"I couldn't go any further. I would have fenced it."

Tyler Reddick on going for his first victory at Phoenix

Tyler Reddick discussed trying to earn his first career Cup Series victory on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Bob Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!


Get more from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more