BROOKLYN, Mich. — Chase Briscoe and Denny Hamlin spent the week trading barbs about their chaotic finish at Indianapolis.

They’ll have a chance to settle the score Sunday at Michigan.

During a week many teams scrambled to repair damaged cars while plotting strategy for NASCAR’s return to oval racing, Briscoe and Hamlin continued their debate over the spinout that cost both championship contenders a possible trip to victory lane.

“We can’t race that way,” Hamlin said after Briscoe sent Indy’s race leader spinning on the second-to-last lap. “I don’t think he did it (maliciously). I’ve raced with him for a year now. He’s not that kind of person, just bad judgment.”

What exactly took place in those closing laps won’t soon be forgotten.

A deteriorating curb sent nine cars off course with five laps to go and seven more crashed shortly after a restart following the curb’s removal. Then in the second overtime and final restart, Hamlin forced Briscoe wide heading into the first turn, and as Hamlin navigated the course, Briscoe drove through the grass and came out side by side with Hamlin. When Hamlin pulled out to a small lead, Briscoe tapped the No. 11 Toyota, sending it into the grass – at about the same time Cup officials radioed Briscoe’s penalty for cutting the course.

Afterward, Hamlin confronted Briscoe on pit road. But when Briscoe’s radio transmissions were broadcast on television Monday, the debate started again.

“Soooo the 14 didn’t know but yet acknowledged it on the radio? Ok, gotcha, noted,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter.

Briscoe defended himself again.

“That was my crew chief’s voice, anyone that listens to us weekly knows that’s not my voice plus I never use the word ‘copy’ I always say 10-4,” he wrote. “Feel free to call or text me if you don’t wanna go back and forth on here.”

Neither driver took questions this week and it was unclear if the conversation continued in private. Now both are in the Irish Hills region of Michigan trying to build momentum for the Cup chase. Hamlin has already clinched a playoff spot despite not winning yet this season. Hamlin reached victory lane 13 times in 2019 and 2020 but hasn’t been back since winning at Talladega in October.

The 29-race drought and the fact Hamlin failed to win the Brickyard again despite being in position to win it late in the race accounts for some of the frustration. A win Sunday certainly would help Hamlin, who finds himself second in points behind Kyle Larson after leading most of this season.

Briscoe would qualify for the playoffs with a win.

XFINITY: AJ Allmendinger took the lead with four laps left in regulation and held on through three overtimes Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.

Six days after winning the Cup Series’ Brickyard 200 at Indianapolis, Allmendinger beat Brandon Jones to the finish line by 0.163 seconds in, at 139 laps, the longest Xfinity contest ever on the two-mile track. Allmendinger has won three Xfinity victories this season and eight overall.

He put the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet in front by going to the high side of leader Josh Berry and side-drafting his way past, with Jones following him into second. Allmendinger just had to survive three more restarts, getting help from Jones who was running right behind Allmendinger on the outside line all three times.

Noah Gragson finished third, and Berry was fourth.

TRUCKS SERIES: Defending series champion Sheldon Creed won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoff opener Friday night with a dominating run at Gateway in Madison, Illinois. In a race interrupted by a power outage that knocked out the lights for about an hour early in the second stage, Creed swept the stages and led 142 of 163 laps on the 1.25-mile oval.

The 23-year-old California driver wrapped up an automatic spot in the next three-race round of the playoffs, winning for the second time this year and seventh in two seasons.

After a caution set up an overtime shootout, Creed kept the No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet ahead of Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes – with three-time series champion Crafton passing ThorSport teammate Ben Rhodes for second. Creed beat Crafton by 0.292 seconds.

Stewart Friesen was fourth, with the top four all in the 10-driver playoff field. Carson Hocevar was the only other playoff driver in the top 10, finishing eighth. Hailie Deegan was a career-best seventh.

Regular-season champion John Hunter Nemechek had a flat tire and ended up five laps down in 22nd. Austin Hill was 23rd, Chandler Smith 28th, Todd Gilliland 29th and Zane Smith 35th to round out the playoff drivers.


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