Chris Buescher and the No. 17 team punched its ticket in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs, finishing fourth Saturday night in the Bristol Night Race.
“Yeah, it was a great day for us,” Buescher said. “Our BuildSubmarines.com Ford Mustang was really fast. We’re not disappointed in the car at all. Obviously, we want to win and coming off the win last time being close and seeing it was good, but we had a really good race car. We needed a touch more to go fight for that win, but I’m really proud of this group.”
Buescher – the defending race winner – was one of the fastest cars in practice on Friday, finishing second among all cars. He went on to qualify 20th, as the 500-lap race was initially delayed due to inclement weather.
Once the race got rolling, the opening 70 laps ran caution-free before the first yellow, when Buescher took two tires on the BuildSubmarines.com Ford. He restarted 16th for the next green-flag run, which ran 30 laps before a caution for rain. After a four-tire stop, Buescher restarted 20th, but began his fight forward from there, earning a 13th-place finish to end stage one.
With the track position flip, Buescher began the second stage in fifth, and never left from there, ending stage two in seventh. A solid pit stop put him back in fifth on the restart for stage three, as just two more yellows – two of six in total – split up the final 250 laps.
Buescher worked his way to fourth by lap 262, and was in that position on the race’s final restart with 131 laps remaining, before going on to cross the stripe in fourth.
“We’re on to the next round of playoffs. We’ve got some more really great tracks coming for us. We’ve got the first Ford out here tonight, so it was definitely a strong night for us. We just want a little bit more.”
Texas Motor Speedway hosts the first race of the Round of 12 next weekend. Race coverage on Sunday is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.