After earning a crucial stage point in the first stage of racing Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal team battled a tight handling car to a 23rd place finish at the 1.5 mile track.
Buescher rolled off the grid 13th and was running 15th when the caution flag waved for lightning in the area. Cars came down pit road and the red flag was displayed as multiple strikes were in the area. When the race got started again, the No. 17 team did not pit and stayed steady in the 15th position. The caution flag prematurely waved at lap 20 and the team pitted for four tires, fuel, and to adjust the tight handling Ford. After restarting 14th, the team had worked their way up to 12th when another caution for inclement weather waved at Lap 31. Before Buescher exited the car to take shelter, he reported that he was happy with the No. 17 Ford’s handling and that it had decent speed through the corners. When bad weather finally left the area, the team pitted for four tires and fuel, restarting eighth. Buescher kept up the momentum and held track position to earn a stage point, finishing stage one 10th.
At the stage break, the No. 17 team pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Back on track 13th, Buescher got shuffled back through the field with reports of a tight handling Ford. As green flag pit stops began to cycle through, the team pitted at lap 120 to help loosen up the handling. With no cautions in the stage, the team took the green-white-checkered flag for stage two in 19th.
The Prosper, Texas native drove his way down pit road at the stage break, where the No. 17 team had a phenomenal pit stop. Back on track 14th, the team held track position until a caution at lap 170. The team elected to pit for four more fresh tires and no adjustments. As the track returned to green at lap 175, Buescher fired off 13th and was able to maintain track position up until cutting his right rear tire down around lap 210. The incident didn’t bring out the caution flag as he was able to make it to pit road for a green flag pit stop. As green flag pit stops continued to cycle through, the driver was able to earn one of his laps back. Without enough laps left to gain more ground, Buescher ended up taking the green flag 23rd.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to action next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.