After earning four stage points with a seventh-place finish in the first stage Sunday afternoon’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway, Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal team were unable to overcome a spin in stage two, resulting in a 36th place finish.
Buescher rolled off the grid 11th and quickly made his way up to fourth in the opening laps of the race. When the red flag was displayed for rain just five laps in, the team was holding steady inside the top-five. The race finally got back to green at Lap 11 and the driver held his fourth-place position up to the next caution at lap 15. Aside from reports of a free handling Ford Mustang, Buescher was content with his ride. The team elected to stay out under caution and restarted fourth. Just before the end of stage one, Buescher got stuck in a bit of traffic that shuffled him back to seventh, which is where he took the green-white checkered flag. With his seventh-place stage finish, the driver racked up his seventh top-10 stage finish of the season, his fifth in the last eight races.
The Prosper, Texas native elected to pit under the stage break at lap 32 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. After restarting 24th, the driver worked his way up to 18th before the caution waved at lap 39. Buescher reported that his No. 17 machine was free handling and worse in traffic, but the team elected to stay out. The driver restarted 12th but drew the fifth caution of the race after hitting the wall and spinning. Heavy damage was reported to the tv panel and bumper cover of the No. 17 Ford. The team got to work with multiple pit stops to assess and fix damage but got caught two laps down when the race went back to green. Buescher finished stage two 35th and three laps down after pitting during the last few cautions of the stage.
The goal for the final stage of racing in Pennsylvania was to try to get some laps back while continuing to work on the damage from stage two. The No. 17 team pitted at the stage break to for more tires, fuel and damage assessment. The team restarted 35th, still three laps down. Hoping for some good luck, the team carried on as usual and held track position. With 35 to go, Buescher reported that he had a tire down. The team pitted for four tires and fuel but lost another lap. As the body repair began to fall apart, the driver experienced tire rub and ultimately finished 36th, five laps down.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to action Sunday, July 5 for the iconic Brickyard 400 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Race coverage begins at 4 p.m. EST on NBC, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and SiriusXM Channel 90.