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Buescher escapes Cup attrition to win below the lights at Bristol – EAST AUTO NEWS

Buescher escapes Cup attrition to win below the lights at Bristol


With Chase Elliott pursuing him relentlessly for the ultimate 50 laps, Chris Buescher held on to win Saturday’s Bass Professional Outlets Evening Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, changing into the nineteenth completely different NASCAR Cup Sequence winner this season.

After the occasion that set the sector for the Spherical of 12 within the sequence playoffs—and eradicated superstars Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick from the postseason—a dozen drivers had been respiration sighs of aid and hoping fervently for a return to inventory automotive sanity within the subsequent spherical.

A two-tire pit cease below warning on lap 438 of 500 put Buescher within the lead for a restart on lap 444. The motive force of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford led the ultimate 61 laps and a race-high 169 general to present the RFK group its first victory since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the checkered flag at Daytona on July 1, 2017 at Daytona.

The victory was the primary for RFK Racing since Brad Keselowski joined the group as an proprietor/driver after the 2021 season.

Buescher was the third straight non-Playoff driver to win a race within the Spherical of 16, an unprecedented incidence.

“It’s so particular right here,” mentioned Buescher, whose solely different Cup win got here in a rain-shortened race at Pocono in 2016. “I like this racetrack. I like the followers. I like each time we come right here. It’s so particular. It’s fairly superior.”

Buescher mentioned he wasn’t nervous about beginning the ultimate run on two recent tires, although everybody chasing had 4.

“I wasn’t a bit,” he asserted. “It was as much as me at that time. I made it work, and we had a extremely quick . We knew we had a extremely quick race automotive in follow and didn’t fairly get the job finished in qualifying (twentieth)—however what a race automotive.

“I don’t know what all to say proper now. I’m out of breath. This place will put on you flat-out, and I like that about it. It’s only a particular evening.”

Elliott was 0.458s behind Buescher on the end. William Byron got here residence third, adopted by Christopher Bell, who posted his third straight top-five end within the Spherical of 16. Kyle Larson was fifth and Ross Chastain sixth, as all 5 drivers instantly behind Buescher within the ending order superior to the Spherical of 12.

Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman additionally clinched spots within the subsequent spherical, although all had critical points in the course of the race.

Elliott received nearer to Buescher on the ultimate two laps however ran out of time.

“I felt like we had been gaining, nevertheless it was… I wasn’t shut sufficient to do something with him,” Elliott mentioned. “However I respect the trouble. We had an extended day yesterday. Was in a position to battle again from a nasty qualifying effort (twenty third) to get a high two, so pleased with that.

“Glad to be shifting on and looking out ahead to some extra alternatives right here these coming weeks.”

Needing a victory to advance to the subsequent spherical, Harvick ran persistently within the high 5 after staying out on the finish of stage one to achieve observe place. However Harvick’s possibilities evaporated within the pits on lap 438 when his crew did not safe the left-rear on his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

Because the tire rolled away, Harvick needed to again up into his pit stall. The misplaced time left him tenth for the ultimate restart on lap 444. That’s the place he completed, exiting the playoffs in sixteenth place.

“It was fairly robust,” Harvick mentioned. “We pitted in entrance of the No. 17, so simply type of the way in which the 12 months has gone. Simply went from having an opportunity to guide the parade to being part of the parade. Simply troublesome to cross.”

Busch’s ouster was a touch-and-go affair. Each he and Tyler Reddick fell two factors brief after Austin Cindric, who completed seven laps down in twentieth place however gained sufficient positions by passing again markers to advance.

Busch had amassed 14 factors within the first two levels and was working above the minimize line when his engine blew on lap 270—Busch’s second such failure within the three playoff races.

“It simply goes with our 12 months,” Busch mentioned. “I don’t even know what to say. I’m flabbergasted. I simply really feel so unhealthy for my guys. They don’t need to be on this spot. They work too laborious. We’re too good of a gaggle to be this low—down on the underside, combating for our lives simply to make it by way of. Two engine failures in three weeks; that may do it to you.”

Reddick and Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon each did not make the Spherical of 12 after each drivers’ Chevrolets had been broken in a 12-car pileup on the backstretch on lap 277. Reddick completed twenty fifth and Dillon thirty first.

Keselowski led 109 laps and appeared to have race-winning possibilities till his right-front tire went flat on lap 414 whereas he was main.

“We had two vehicles that had been actually good at the moment and one which was unfortunate and one which executed, and the whole lot got here the best manner for them,” Keselowski mentioned.

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Buescher escapes Cup attrition to win below the lights at Bristol – EAST AUTO NEWS
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