Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal team rode a wave of momentum into Sunday’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. In Friday’s pit crew challenge, the 17 team turned in the third-quickest pit stop of any team in the field, which earned Buescher a pole position in his heat race on Saturday, where he led every lap and won the 60-lap qualifying race.
This weekend’s action at the historic short track was the first return since 1996, as Buescher and team were one of a handful of teams to test there in recent weeks, bringing even more familiarity to the revamped facility.
Friday kicked off on-track action with a full practice session as both RFK cars finished inside the top five on speed, with the pit crew challenge returning for Friday night. Of all the teams in the field (Open and All-Star), the Fastenal team performed third-best, which gave Buescher a P1 starting position in heat race No. 2 on Saturday.
Buescher dominated the heat, leading all 60 laps to cement his starting spot of 2nd for Sunday night’s All-Star Race.
Unfortunately, to start, Buescher was caught on the high side on the initial start and fell from his P2 starting position. He recovered, though, working back up to inside the top five in the final 100 laps. Surprisingly, no caution flew in that span, a strategy that wouldn’t pan out for the Fastenal Ford, which fell off to ultimately finish 16th.
Racing returns to Charlotte this weekend as the Coca-Cola 600 is set for Sunday night. Race coverage kicks off at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.