Chris Buescher Wins In Iowa And Retakes The Series Points Lead
NEWTON, Iowa (May 17, 2015) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher made a strong move on the final restart of the day in his No. 60 Roush Performance Ford Mustang to earn his second career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory on Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway. With the win, Buescher regains the points lead.
“That was awesome,” said Buescher. “This Roush Performance Ford Mustang was amazing. These guys did so good. We knew we were fast this weekend. We had a good race car the whole time. That was nerve-racking at the end. We were really good, we just had to have something fall our way, and it did there. We got those tires that Chase [Elliott] had gotten a little earlier, and we were able to get going on that restart. We were really hoping to be able to pull it off like that. We knew that the front row had older tires. We were able to get to the bottom and drive away on right sides. Scott [Graves] did a great job on pit calls today. This pit crew was phenomenal. We were awesome on pit road today.”
After qualifying on Saturday evening, Buescher earned a fourth-place starting spot. Due to evening rain showers, the field took the green flag, prepared for a competition caution early in the event.
From the start of the run, Buescher radioed in to his crew that his Mustang was too free on entry. As the run progressed, Buescher’s lap times picked up, taking over the lead by Lap 49. When the competition caution flew on Lap 60, the sophomore in the NASCAR XFINITY Series told the team that his car was too tight in the center.
Crew Chief Scott Graves called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to try and help the handling. A quick pit stop helped Buescher maintain first-place for the following restart.
Chase Elliott took the lead from Buescher on the Lap 66 restart, while the Prosper, Texas native settled into second. When the caution flag flew on Lap 82. Buescher radioed to the team that his Mustang started out a little too tight, but that the handling came around as the run continued. With only 16 laps on his tires, Graves opted to stay out on track.
Buescher maintained second-place on the following run, informing the team that he was too loose in traffic. When he visited pit road again on Lap 142, Graves called for four tires and fuel, and another air pressure adjustment. Another quick pit stop put Buescher in first for the restart.
After exiting pit road, Graves told Buescher to save fuel as the team was a couple laps shy from having enough fuel to complete the race. As the laps continued to tick down, Buescher kept his No. 60 Mustang in the lead. His fuel-saving was assisted by multiple cautions in the closing laps.
With 20 laps remaining, Elliott again took the lead from Buescher. When the final caution flag of the day came out as the field came to take the white flag, Graves gambled and called his driver down pit road for right side tires. Buescher exited pit road as the first driver with fresh tires.
The 22-year-old driver lined up third for the final restart of the day. A strong move and a push from his teammate, Bubba Wallace catapulted Buescher to the lead for the green-white-checker finish. Buescher would go on to win his first race of the 2015 season and the second of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career.
Buescher led 94 of 259 laps to capture Roush Fenway’s fifth win at Iowa Speedway in the last 11 races.
With the result, Buescher regains the lead in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings, holding an eight point margin over second-place. The series will return to action at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday.
1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 23, 2015
2:30 p.m. ET on FOX and PRN
Complete Race Results:
2015 Season Total: First with 368 points
2015 SEASON SUMMARY
Starts Wins Top-Fives Top-10s Poles
10 1 5 7 0