(MRN) Rookie Chase Briscoe took his final lead of the night early in the final stage and kept his Number-29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford in front over the final thirty-nine laps to claim victory on Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, while Christopher Bell rode home in second place, which was enough for him to secure the 2017 championship.
Briscoe started from the pole and led a race-high eighty-one laps, beating Bell to the checkered flag by two-point-eight seconds.
Championship contenders Johnny Sauter and Austin Cindric finished third and fifth, respectively. Two-time champion Matt Crafton, the final member of The Championship Four, ran sixth.
The win is Briscoe’s first, coming in his twenty-fourth start.
Top 10 Finishers in the Ford EcoBoost 200
DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED
1. Chase Briscoe (R) (Pole) 81
2. Christopher Bell (13) 10
3. Johnny Sauter (11) —
4. Ryan Truex (6) —
5. Austin Cindric (R) (3) —
6. Matt Crafton (8) —
7. Stewart Friesen (R) (9) —
8. Grant Enfinger (R) (4) —
9. Justin Haley (R) (7) —
10. Timothy Peters (17) —
Final Standings – Championship Round
DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER
1. Christopher Bell 4,035 —-
2. Johnny Sauter 4,034 -1
3. Austin Cindric (R) 4,032 -3
4. Matt Crafton 4,031 -4
Inside the Playoffs
Johnny Sauter was bidding to become just the second driver in the twenty-three-year history of the Truck Series with back-to-back championships, but his third-place finish on Friday left him one position shy of that goal. Matt Crafton went back-to-back i n 2013-2014.