Buescher Avoids The ‘Big-Ones’ To Finish Second In Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2015) – It was a race filled with close calls and near misses for Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher. The sophomore driver in the NASCAR XFINITY Series maneuvered around several big accidents during Saturday’s 120-Lap race at Daytona International Speedway, ultimately pushing his Roush Fenway teammate Ryan Reed to victory, while the No. 60 Cheez-It Ford Mustang crossed the finish line for the season-opener in second.
“First off, we are just happy to be running this race this year after last year going the way it did,” said Buescher. “We are proud that we were in it and to have Cheez-It on board our Ford Mustang. It was fast all weekend. I was proud of the guys. They worked really hard and we are not trying to dig ourselves out of a hole this year. We should be in good shape going forward.”
Earlier Saturday afternoon, Buescher qualified his No. 60 Cheez-It Mustang in 10th-place to start the inaugural XFINITY Series race. At the drop of the green, Buescher quickly began to work his way toward the front of the field, gaining the lead by Lap 2.
Buescher remained at the front of the pack for the next six laps, before settling into the top-five. The Prosper, Texas native bided his time, continuing to tick off laps towards the front of the field before visiting pit road under the green flag on Lap 40.
Under the scheduled stop, the No. 60 team opted for four tires and fuel. Buescher returned to the track in sixth as green flag stops cycled through.
When the first caution flag of the day flew on Lap 80, it was time for the No. 60 team to visit pit road again. This time, crew chief Scott Graves opted for right side tires and fuel. Buescher lined up third on the ensuing restart, and maintained his place in the top-five.
Shortly after returning to green flag racing, came Buescher’s first close call. On Lap 94 the first “big-one” occurred, collecting 12 cars, and narrowly missing the No. 60.
Buescher was able to avoid the final “big-one” on Lap 113, putting himself in position to battle for the lead in the closing laps. Ultimately, the No. 60 Cheez-It Mustang pushed teammate Ryan Reed to his first career victory, while Buescher crossed the line close behind in second.
“For our organization this is huge,” said Buescher. “I am so proud to get Ryan his first win first off. That is a huge accomplishment and to do it here, I am extremely happy for him. For our organization, we have good things coming. We worked really hard in the off-season. We have a lot of new personnel behind the scenes and new teammates in Bubba Wallace and Elliott Sadler that will really help us going forward. I expect the changes we’ve made to transfer more to the bigger tracks, the 1.5-mile tracks especially. If we get that program turned around I feel like we will be very competitive this year.”
1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
2:00 p.m. ET on FOXSPORTS1 and PRN
Complete Race Results:
2015 Season Total: 2nd with 43 points