Chris Buescher continued his strong run late in the 2020 season as he battled challenging conditions to put himself in position for a top-10 finish at Sunday’s Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course race. An untimely penalty with just ten laps to go sent Buescher’s No. 17 Fastenal Ford to the tail end of the field setting up a late race run that would see the No. 17 Mustang power through the field - picking up 12 positions to finish 20th.
Buescher began the day from the 21st position, with threatening skies forcing NASCAR to begin the race with treaded rain tires on all cars. The weather began to subside, leaving dry spots on the track and challenging driver abilities in the mixed conditions. At the lap 10 competition caution, Buescher found himself in the 25th position before a penalty for crewmembers over the wall too soon forced him to the rear of the field for the first time in the race.
Though some competitors switched to traditional slick racing tires, the Fastenal team elected to stick with the rain treads as much of the track remained wet. The safe strategy helped the team to avoid early troubles, and Buescher finished 25th in the first stage of the event.
The team dialed in the handling of Buescher’s Fastenal Ford in the second stage, as he drove through the field despite minor damage and steadily worked his way to 14th, where he would finish the segment. Continued adjustments gave Buescher an opportunity to challenge the front of the field in the second half of the race, where he drove as high as 7th.
Buescher maintained his strong pace until a late caution fell with just 12 laps to go. Buescher hit pit road with the majority of the field for tires and fuel to set up a final shootout, where he was set to restart 11th. NASCAR then announced that the No. 17 would be penalized for speeding on the entry to pit road, forcing the team to the rear of the field with just 10 laps left in the race. Buescher was aggressive in the closing laps with a strong Fastenal Ford Mustang, passing 12 cars under the green flag to finish 20th.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to the track next weekend at Kansas Speedway. Race coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.