LOUDON, N.H. (July 12, 2014) – Chris Buescher headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time in his NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) career on Saturday afternoon. Starting from the ninth-spot the No.60 EcoBoost Ford Mustang fell a lap down early, but benefited from the “lucky dog” when a caution came out on lap 106. This yellow would mark the second and final stop of the day for Buescher as the team filled their machine with as much fuel as possible. After another caution on lap 139, Crew Chief Scott Graves instructed the Roush Fenway Driver to stay out in an attempt to make it to the end on fuel. Buescher restarted in first and was shuffled back to the fifth spot where he would remain for the remainder of the day.
“That was pretty awesome,” said Buescher. “This Ford EcoBoost Mustang was good today. We knew we had something in practice it was just a matter of getting that track position and getting going. I am proud of these guys. They made awesome pit road calls and we got that track position and were able to hold on to it. This Ford was good and I am glad we are making progress. I love these short tracks, this is awesome.”
After making it through both rounds of knockout qualifying Buescher rolled off in ninth and had a No.60 Ford that was “pretty good” right of the bat. The team worked to correct a slightly tight center during the first stop under green on lap 78 and made no further adjustments to the machine during the day.
Buescher found himself racing for the “lucky dog” position less than halfway through the 200 lap race and ended up securing a spot back on the lead lap when a caution came out on lap 106. This caution forced the team to pit slightly earlier than desired for four tires and fuel on lap 109. With 91 laps remaining, Buescher saw his Mustang outside of the 70-80 lap fuel window and was instructed to begin saving fuel immediately while sitting in the eighth-position.
When yet another yellow was waved on lap 139, Graves made the call to stay out which placed Buescher in the top spot for the restart on lap 145. The Prosper, TX native was running on older tires and was soon set back to fifth, but held his ground in the top-five and posted competitive lap times for the remainder of the Sta-Green 200.
The final laps were nerve-wracking as the No.60 team watched the No.99 car and No.5 cars run out of fuel, but Buescher held on to his spot and was in fifth when the checkered waved, making him the top finishing Sunoco Rookie contender of the race. Additionally, the result places Buescher in the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash next week at Chicagoland.
Buescher will return to the track at Chicagoland on Saturday, July 19th sitting ninth in points. Coverage of the ENJOYILLIONOIS.COM 300 begins at 8:30 pm on ESPN 2.