BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 23, 2014) – Roush Fenway Racing rookie Chris Buescher fought his way to a hard-earned top-10 finish in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Buescher overcame an ill-handling racecar and avoided a late multi-car accident by only a few centimeters to earn the ninth top-10 finish of his rookie season.
“It was an event filled night,” said Buescher after the race. “We struggled all weekend, but the guys on the team dug in and worked hard to get our Roush Performance Ford Mustang to the front. We got it going in the race and (crew chief) Scott (Graves) made some great calls on pit road and got us track position.
“We ran solidly in the top 10 until something happened with the car,” added Buescher. “Then we had to battle back the rest of the race. I’m not sure what happened but we came home 10th after missing that accident on the backstretch. It was a wild night and I really appreciate the effort by the team in turning what could have been a really bad weekend into a top-10 finsih.”
It was a tale of two halves for Buescher and the No. 60 team. During the race’s first half the former ARCA Champion powered his way through the field with relative ease. Starting 23rd, Buescher quickly moved inside the top 15 and powered his way to the eighth position by the race’s halfway point.
However, the second half of the race would prove more of a challenge. Buescher would lose the handling on his Roush Performance Ford Mustang, falling as far back as 16th position.
A late race adjustment and four fresh tires gave the No. 60 RPP Ford new life, with Buescher moving back inside the top 10 just after splitting a spinning No. 42 car and the pit road wall with only 19 laps remaining. He was able to hold on during two more restarts and claim the top-10 finish.
After starting 23rd, Buescher broke into the top 15 on lap 51 and stayed out after the race’s second caution on lap 50 to restart in sixth position.
He kept the car inside the top 10 for the next 137 laps, before reporting that something seemed amiss with the car’s handling and dropping to 11th on lap 203. The rookie continued to fall back, dropping to 14th by lap 242 and as far back as 16th on lap 261. However the late track-bar adjustment and four tires, allowed him to move back to 11th by lap 272 and into the top 10 in lap 181.
Roush Fenway and the NASCAR Nationwide Series return to action next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Buescher has one career start - a 13th-place finish last fall.