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AP photo by Darryl Webb / Chase Briscoe celebrates after winning Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Chase Briscoe jumped out of his Ford Mustang and was obviously emotional, kneeling by the car for a few seconds before a couple of voice cracks during his television interview after Sunday's race.

Briscoe took his lumps last season as a NASCAR Cup Series rookie. Now he's a winner.

"It's unbelievable — I was crying the whole last lap," Briscoe said.

The 27-year-old raced to his first Cup Series victory, executing two great restarts over the final 20 laps to pull away from Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick at Phoenix Raceway. Briscoe's childhood idol was NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, and the Indiana native now drives the No. 14 car for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Briscoe channelled some of Stewart's late-race moxie during an intense battle between three drivers who had never won on the top-tier circuit. It's more evidence of the parity across the Cup Series in the Next Gen cars, with four drivers winning the first four races this season.

Trackhouse Racing's Chastain and Richard Childress Racing's Reddick — both in Chevrolets — made things interesting over the final laps, but Briscoe's Ford was simply too strong. On the final restart with four laps left, Briscoe started on the inside, dipped low on the dog-leg apron and was able to hold off the rest of the field.

Briscoe was one of the top drivers in the second-tier Xfinity Series in 2019 and 2020 before getting the invitation from SHR to fill one of its four Cup Series spots. He had just three top-10 finishes as a rookie and wound 23rd in the season standings.

He got off to a good start this year with a third-place finish at the season-opening Daytona 500, and a month later he found his way to victory lane.

"You get humbled really quickly in the Cup Series and learn just how good everybody is," Briscoe said. "These guys, even who are running 30th, are some of the best race car drivers in the world. You learn really quickly you've got to go to work and figure it out."

As for Chastain, even though he didn't get the win, it was a breakthrough for his team. Chastain credited crew chief Phil Surgen for providing him with a car that was comfortable running up front.

"He gave me exactly what I needed," Chastain said. "We came up one spot short. But I'm so happy."

Reddick has been among the fastest drivers in the Cup Series all season but fell just short of his first win. He battled leg numbness in the Next Gen car over the first few weeks but didn't appear to have any problems Sunday. He has two straight top-10 finishes, taking seventh at Las Vegas Motor Speedway one week earlier.

Team Penske's Ryan Blaney started in pole position and dominated the first half of the race, winning the second stage after leading 138 of the first 185 laps in his Ford. He settled for fourth, and 23X1 Racing's Kurt Busch was fifth in a Toyota.

SHR's Kevin Harvick, who has won nine times at the track, was sixth for his 18th straight top-10 there. That matches the Cup Series record shared by Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for consecutive top-10 finishes at a single track.

Kyle Larson earned his first Cup Series championship last year by winning the season finale at Phoenix, but engine trouble ended his day early this time. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished 34th, the end of a frustrating weekend after he qualified seventh but had to move to the rear of the starting grid Sunday because of unapproved steering wheel changes.

With the annual three-week West Coast swing over, the series heads back across the country next weekend to Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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