Chris Buescher kept his streak of top-10s on road courses alive Sunday at the Chicago Street Race, finishing 10th in the Fastenal Ford Mustang.
“It was pretty smooth for us in our Fastenal Mustang, I’m proud,” Buescher said following the race. “We made some good changes after practice and had a fast race car there. We strategized to go to 100 laps and that call kind of mid-strategy really got us. I felt like then just trying to figure out all the cars getting spots back. I don’t understand. It felt like a lot of things didn’t make sense to me today, but the course was pretty decent.”
It appeared midway through the afternoon that inclement weather would not work in favor of the race taking place on Sunday. However, after historic rain fell all day, skies eventually cleared as the green fell not long after its originally-scheduled start time.
Buescher took the green from the 15th position after just missing out on the final round of Saturday’s qualifying session. The team employed an early stay-out strategy as Buescher remained on track through the opening stage, finishing 12th at the end of the 20-lap segment.
He then pitted for the first time and took dry tires at lap 23 as the track eventually turned manageable enough in normal tire conditions. He broke into the top-10 from there, and later finished just outside the top-10 in 11th at the stage two conclusion at lap 45.
The caution was displayed at lap 44, which caused the stage to officially end, before NASCAR then determined the race would end at lap 75, as opposed to the full distance. That put Buescher and the field in a unique position to manage strategy for the remaining laps. Just a lap after that restart, a multi-car pileup stopped the action again as Buescher and many others made it through. However, those cars involved in the incident were ultimately scored back in their original positions, putting Buescher 20th on the restart.
From there he began working his way back through the field with help from three final cautions over the last 18 laps. The field came to a halt one last time with two to go, setting up a NASCAR overtime restart. Buescher was then scored 10th and maintained the position, securing his eighth-straight road course top-10.
“At the end of the day it (the track) was pretty decent,” Buescher added. “It put on some decent racing at certain times and in different spots. I think we had a better car than where we finished, I know we did, but we just got caught up in the way the race played out. I can’t believe we raced today, either.”
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the second time this season, with race coverage Sunday night set for 7 p.m. ET on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.