Briscoe takes narrow victory over Enfinger as both bang doors to the line

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Chase Briscoe celebrates in victory lane after winning the 2018 Eldora Dirt Derby. Eric Young/The SuperSpeedway

ROSSBURG, Ohio — In the end it looked like it would Logan Seavey’s race to win, but a couple late cautions took the race to overtime with Chase Briscoe and Grant Enfinger lined up side-by-side for the final restart. The two battled back and forth for the final two laps, banging doors off turn four and Briscoe was able to get the edge over Enfinger by just 0.038 seconds.

It was Briscoe’s second career Camping World Truck Series victory and his first at Eldora in a one-off race.

“I think Grant was probably the guy we were racing all night long,” Briscoe said. “I knew Grant would be the one guy who made sure he didn’t spin his tires. … I knew he was going to be really hard.”

Briscoe said he kept it clean and didn’t make contact until the frontstretch.

“We were inches apart without touching for a lap and 7/8ths,” he said. “I knew if I didn’t go all the way to the top, I probably wasn’t going to win.”

He said he had to go for it at the end.

“It wouldn’t have been right for me or Grant if I had lifted and raced him differently. I hate that we tore up two trucks. Especially since before that I don’t think the 27 had a scratch on it.”

“It was the most determined I’ve ever been behind the wheel those last eight laps or so,” he said.

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Chase Briscoe and Grant Enfinger race side-by-side through turn three on the final lap of the 2018 Eldora Dirt Derby. Eric Young/The SuperSpeedway

Enfinger said despite the loss, he respects Briscoe and he wasn’t upset with the way he raced.

“He used me up on exit,” Briscoe said. I would have done the exact same thing. It’s good hard racing. I love racing with Chase.”

Enfinger said he wasn’t sure he could have done anything differently.

“I feel like I nailed the restart,” Enfinger said. “I don’t know what I could have done different. It was just a heck of a race.”

He said the fact that his ThorSport truck was strong made the night easier.

“I had a really good truck,” he said. “All I had to do was drive.”

Stewart Friesen was one of the favorites heading into the weekend, but a spin early in the race put him in the back of the field. He was able to battle back and stayed out at the end of stage two, but was only able to muster a third-place finish. He said his team struggled throughout the race weekend.

“The ThorSport guys … were super good both days here,” he said. “We were just kind of playing catch up. I think we had worse than a third-place truck so we probably got away with something there.”

He said his team’s alliance with GMS Racing this year has left him more chances to get a victory and a spot in the playoffs.

“I’m really excited to get to Pocono,” he said. “I did some Chevy sim stuff the other day. I’m really excited for Michigan. Bristol I could take or leave.”

Seavey was only able to hang on for an eighth-place finish.

“This is a really cool experience for me,” he said. “It was really, really fun. The trucks are so hard to drive. I figured they’d work on it before the race and they didn’t. I figured that would play in my favor.”

There were nine cautions for 41 laps. There were seven lead changes among five drivers. Briscoe led the most laps with 54, with Seavey leading the second-most with 53. Ben Rhodes had a strong run early leading 44 laps before having to pit for an issue, putting him down a few laps. Friesen and Enfinger both led one lap each. The time of the race was one hour, 39 minutes and 30 seconds.

Rhodes won the first stage and Briscoe won the second.

The Camping World Truck Series next heads to Pocono Raceway July 28.

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