Chris Buescher‘s Chase hopes took a noticeable swing in the right direction after the surprise winner at Pocono Raceway battled to a fifth-place result at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Two days removed from giving Front Row Motorsports its first trip to the final round of Coors Light Pole qualifying in a 12th-place effort, Buescher battled through the field and survived a litany of crashes to earn his best-career finish in a non-shortened race in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
With the effort, Buescher moves into the top 30 in the points standings for the first time since his win in the rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400, leading 31st-place David Ragan by 13 points.
“It was a pretty big day for us,” Buescher said. “We’ve had really strong days at the track. We’ve had a lot of bad luck… Everybody can pick out a handful of races and say if it weren’t for those they’d be in a lot different situation, and I guess I’m focused on what ours were. But nonetheless, where we are now, our last several months we’ve been showing up with a lot of speed.”
The run continued a trend of improvement for Buescher, who rose from more than 30 points out entering August to join the top 30 in the standings leaving Bristol. If Buescher can maintain his position, his win will earn him a spot in the 16-car Chase field after Richmond International Raceway.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Buescher says the improvement isn’t related to added support from Ford Performance.
“The great thing is Ford Performance has been committed from the start,” Buescher said. “They’ve gone through a lot of changes in the last little bit, and they’ve been all in.”
While he’s yet to figure Richmond out, Buescher’s confident that his FRM team will be able to make the gains necessary to keep their run alive.
“I’m excited that we have figured out some stuff in the past nine, 10 weeks that has translated over to a lot of different racetracks, and I think it’s definitely something that will transfer over to Richmond as well,” Buescher said. “That gives me a good confidence boost that we’ll be able to go there with something better than we had the first race.”