Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal team rode a fast Ford Mustang to an eight-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway with a late-race charge and smart pit strategy. The strong finish netted Buescher’s seventh top-10 result of the season.
Buescher rolled off the grid 23rd and was up to 21st when the first yellow of the race came at lap 27. The team made quick work on pit road, picking up four spots while changing four tires and adding fuel to the Fastenal Mustang. Back on track in 17th, the driver was able to stay steady for a while but got shuffled back a few positions with reports of a tight handling Ford. Later in the stage, Buescher was the fastest car on track and showing promise to drive to the front of the field. Slowed by traffic, he ultimately took the green-white checkered flag 21st for stage one.
The team visited pit road at the stage break for tape, fuel, a track bar adjustment and fresh tires. After a quick stop, Buescher got back on track to restart 20th. Buescher held his track position until the caution flag waved again at lap 232. Still battling a tight handling Mustang, the team took the opportunity to pit for four tires, fuel and more adjustments, with another quick stop allowing Buescher to restart 13th. The race went back to green for a nine-lap shootout. The stage ultimately ended under caution and the team finished stage two in 14th.
Feeding off of their momentum from the stage two finish, the team elected to stay out during the stage break and restarted 11th. Buescher was shuffled back to 14th on the restart, but held his track position for most of the stage. The Prosper, Texas native entered the top ten around lap 375 when green flag pit stops began to cycle through.
Pit strategy worked to the No. 17 team’s advantage as they waited to pit when the caution flag waved at lap 406. A quick stop for four tires and fuel enabled the driver to restart eighth, but one lap down. As the remainder of the race went caution free, Buescher was able to maintain track position and keep up lap times to take the checkered flag for the 500-lap event in eighth. The finish marks Buescher’s seventh top-10 of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 27 at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network, PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.