After Eldora victory, Chase Briscoe sets sights on Lime Rock this weekend

Photo courtesy IMSA
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Courtesy IMSA Wire Service

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Less than 48 hours after his thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Eldora Speedway, Chase Briscoe is already back behind the wheel of a racecar. This time, it’s the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
After making a quick stop back home in Mooresville, N.C. to drop off his Golden Shovel from Eldora, Briscoe made his way up to Lakeville, Conn. forSaturday’s Lime Rock Park 120. Briscoe’s smile on Friday was still as big as when he was interviewed in Victory Lane on Wednesday night.
“It was a heck of a race,” said Briscoe. “We ran around there two inches apart for two laps in a row, coming to the checkered beating and banging a little bit and beat him by a couple inches. It meant so much to me personally to win Eldora, being a dirt sprint car guy and going to watch races there since I was five years old.”
It was only the second start at Eldora for Briscoe and his second consecutive Truck Series victory, with his last coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, 2017. The win was even more sentimental as Briscoe’s grandfather previously competed at the famous dirt track.
Yet entering this weekend at Lime Rock alongside co-driver Scott Maxwell, it’s hard to find a similarity between the 1.55-mile road course in Connecticut and the half-mile dirt track in Ohio. Adding more diversity to the mix, Briscoe competed in a sprint car race in Illinois last weekend.
“Three totally different racetracks, racecars and disciplines,” said Briscoe. “(Lime Rock) is definitely way more narrow than I thought it was going to be and a lot more hilly. It’s been an adjustment to get used to and obviously, jumping from car to car takes a little bit. I still don’t feel like I’m where I need to be, but I’ve got a really good team and teammate to help me get there.”
Briscoe’s jump between the Continental Tire Challenge, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a result of his involvement in the Ford Driver Development Program. Following Lime Rock – his fifth Continental Tire Challenge start of the season – Briscoe’s remaining race in IMSA this year will be in the finale at Road Atlanta.
“This whole thing has been really big for me personally,” said Briscoe. “I feel like the road courses were something I really struggled with. … I feel like Mid-Ohio (in May, the third race of the season) was really the first race where I felt like I knew what I was doing and was capable to run up front and that showed last week at (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) too.
“I’m excited to finally see how it’s going to correlate over. I get to run the XFINITY car on the road course next month at Mid-Ohio and it’s going to be the balance to see where I judge at.”
In the meantime, Briscoe is soaking up every moment in the Continental Tire Challenge paddock and is especially hoping to deliver a win for his team, which has seen its fair share of bad luck this season.
“We really need to get a win and turn this season around,” said Briscoe. “It’s been fun coming over here and learning. This is a totally different atmosphere too than what I’m used to, so that’s been really cool to see. I’ve gotten to go to a lot of racetracks that I never thought I’d get to go to.”
Briscoe will make his first start at Lime Rock Park at 11:10 a.m. ET on Saturday. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv.

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.