CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 18, 2014) – As the laps dwindled down late in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher was simply relentless. Having taken his No. 60 Roush Ford Mustang to the lead with just under 25 laps remaining, Buescher pulled away to as much as a 20-car length lead and never looked back. In the process the Prosper, Texas native became the 18th driver in Roush Fenway history to visit NASCAR victory lane, while giving the organization its record extending 318th victory.
“It was nerve-wracking,” said Buescher of the waning laps. “I knew we’d have a little more fuel, so that was going be good, but (that last caution) bunched us all up there. This Ford Mustang was fast and we pulled right away – actually, we were just cruising there at the end. My fuel pressure light started flashing at me. But I wasn’t about to tell [crew chief] Scott [Graves] that.
“We have had quite a few ups and downs this season,” added Buescher, who two years ago became the youngest champion in ARCA history. “This definitely makes up for a lot of the struggles we have been through this season.”
One vested onlooker during the final laps of Saturday’s race was current Roush Fenway driver development coach and former driver Mark Martin. Martin scored the first of Roush Fenway’s 318 wins, 27 years ago in Rockingham.
“First of all I was so happy for Chris,” said Martin, who would go on to score 90 wins for Roush Fenway from 1988-2006. “I know what it means to get that first win. Sometimes it can be so hard to get that and you just have to keep fighting. Once you get that win, you can start to feel like you belong and it is hard to describe just what that first win means to you.”
“It is really special to win for your very first time,” added Greg Biffle, who brought Roush Fenway its first NASCAR Championship in 2000. “It takes a lot to win in this sport at any level. It’s a really special day. He did a great job; used his head and drove smart and I’m really proud of Chris and that team and what they were able to do.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. collected back-to-back championships for Roush Fenway in the NNS in 2011 and 2012, but he recalls the feeling of that first NASCAR win and what it meant going forward.
“It’s huge,” said Stenhouse. “It’s nice to get the weight off of your shoulders. When you aren’t looking for that first one, you can concentrate on the next one. You have already done it, so the pressure is less. You tend to make fewer mistakes and concentrate on getting your cars better.
“Chris did a great job not only saving fuel, but having enough speed to keep those guys behind him,” added Stenhouse. “He works really hard and he is definitely deserving of it.”
In addition, with the victory Buescher became the fourth Roush Fenway driver to drive the iconic No. 60 Ford to victory lane in the NNS, taking the car to its NASCAR record extending 91st victory. Martin drove the No. 60 to victory lane 39 times and led almost 7,000 laps in the car, while Biffle and Carl Edwards both scored NNS championships in the No. 60.
Buescher and Roush Fenway Racing will look for wins No. 319 and 320 this weekend when both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series take to the track at Bristol Motor Speedway.