Chase Briscoe scrapes wall, exits early from Homestead-Miami playoff race

Playoff contender Chase Briscoe found trouble near the end of Stage 2, sidelining him early from Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Briscoe’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford slowed after scrubbing the outside wall through Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 160 of the 267-lap distance in Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400. The incident forced a caution period, and Briscoe drove to pit road with significant right-side damage.

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“Sorry, guys. Just too loose,” Briscoe said after his contact. “It’s broke. It’s broke bad.”

Briscoe later pulled the No. 14 Ford to the garage, ending his race. He finished last in the 36-car field.

“The driver just made a mistake,” Briscoe said after a check at the infield care center. “I was really, really loose that run. We were really tight every other run. That green-flag run, we tried to get really free on the other side of it and just started taking really hard. I was hanging on with everything I had. It felt like I was on ice. Honestly, I wasn’t even running hard. I was trying to just get to the caution. We kept getting freer. I got sideways and had the wheel all the way to the right and ended up head-on into the wall.

“It is really frustrating to have it be something of my own doing. I am better than to be crashing by myself. It is really unfortunate.”

Briscoe entered Sunday’s race in sixth place among the eight remaining title-eligible drivers in the Cup Series Playoffs. The Homestead-Miami event is the second of three races in the Round of 8, and the four-driver championship field will be determined after next Sunday’s Xfinity 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM) at Martinsville Speedway.

Briscoe will be in a virtual must-win scenario, sitting last in the playoff pecking order and 44 points behind the provisional elimination line.

“It makes our job easier next week, I guess,” he said. “We don’t have to worry about points. We gotta go to Martinsville and win.”