Buescher Caps Playoff Run with Top-10 at Martinsville

Chris Buescher’s NASCAR Playoffs run came to a close Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, but he capped it with his best-career finish at The Paperclip, and strongest run in the Round of 8, an eighth-place finish in the NEXLETOL Ford.


“We took two (tires) and got a lot of track position and we stayed with it so good for so long and just kind of got right down there to the end and we lost some left-rear grip and some drive in it,” Buescher said following the race. “That made it tough to battle back, but I’m proud of the call and proud of everything we did. I’m proud of this pit crew, proud of this team, proud of getting this NEXLETOL Ford Mustang a top-10. Statistically, we get to change our numbers here at Martinsville at least and say we’re capable of doing this. Now we just have to prove it next time.”


It was a grind-it-out day for the No. 17 team, who began the afternoon from the 18th position. Varying strategy split the field early for the 500-lap race, as tire wear was minimal in the early laps. Buescher took just right-side tires in the race’s first yellow at lap 103, and went on to finish 17th in the opening stage.


He worked his way back into the top-15 by lap 215, and bettered that by one spot to finish 14th at the end of the second stage. From there, Buescher took advantage of three cautions in a 50-lap span, as the team ultimately employed more two-tire strategy under the final caution at lap 324. That call put Buescher seventh on the final restart of the race at lap 332, as he went on to finish eighth, the best of his career at the half-mile track.


“It was a fantastic job all around,” Buescher added. “We needed a little bit more obviously to win this thing and move on. We knew that was going to be the case, but I’m extremely proud of our year all things considered. We knew coming into this that as long as I felt like I got out of the car and couldn’t walk anymore and nobody felt like we left anything on the table, then it’s all something to be proud of and I certainly am. It’s a bummer we don’t get to go to the next round, but we’ll take what we’ve done from this year, stack it up and hit the ground running for next season.”


Up Next

Phoenix Raceway hosts the Championship and final race of the 2023 season next weekend. Race coverage on Sunday is set for 3 p.m. ET on NBC, with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).