Buescher Hangs Tough, Secures Top-10 in Chaotic Atlanta Race

Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, simply put, was full of carnage.

Chris Buescher squeaked out a ninth-place finish, all after an incident of his own early in the 400-mile race. Brad Keselowski finished 33rd after again being collected in an incident. In total 10 cautions flew for 65 laps, and a record number of lead changes occurred – 48 of them – with both RFK cars again leading laps.

6 Recap
Keselowski found his way inside the top five midway through the race after starting 24th. He led for a brief period, and ran inside the top-10 for the final 100 laps he was on the track.

After finishing the opening stage in 24th, Keselowski took the King’s Hawaiian Ford into the top-10 by just after lap 100, eventually connecting with teammate Chris Buescher. Together they held position in the top-10, and eventually the top five, as the No. 6 earned stage points with a P7 finish in stage two.

He began the third stage in the second position and was in prime position for a solid finish until a mishap at lap 219, which saw the No. 6 spin out of turn 4. Ultimately that spin caused damaged too severe for him to continue as he was credited with a 33rd-place finish.

“I don’t know,” Keselowski said after the crash. “My car just took off in the middle of the corner.  Once I got up to the wall I couldn’t get it off the wall. It’s a shame. We were in good position. We ran up front most of the day and made good adjustments on the car. I’m just really proud of my crew chief and the team and weren’t able to make it count with a solid finish I feel like we deserved today. It’s a bummer, but we’re running up front and that’s a good thing. We just weren’t able to finish it off.”

17 Recap
Buescher’s day began inside the top-10 after a strong qualifying effort of seventh. He was sixth just 25 laps into the race, before spinning out in the turn. He prevented any damage from occurring though, and was able to continue.

He went on to finish 13th in the first stage, and from there maintained top-10 position until he was caught up in an incident at lap 159. Buescher started the final stage from 19th and from there clicked off positions as five cautions flew in the final stage alone.

The final restart came with five to go as Buescher restarted outside the top-10, but surged forward in the closing laps to finish ninth.

“It’s a handling racetrack and the handling is just not very good for a lot of cars, and then you get into different aero spots basically and it changes pretty drastically,” Buescher said after the race. “It’s just tricky. It’s easy to make mistakes and without practice I don’t think many of us were able to find that balance, so you get into the race and you find out if you overstep your bounds for speed versus handling real quick and there’s not much you can do about it then. I think it was just the small window we’re working in for these speedways like this, especially Atlanta when we have so few laps around this place. Three laps before today on the weekends. The more laps we can get, I think we can get it dialed in to where it’s not so much of a crashfest.”

Up Next
Las Vegas hosts race three of the season next week with race coverage set for 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

RFK Racing PR