DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2020) – Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal team secured their second top-five finish of the season Sunday afternoon with a fifth-place run in the inaugural Cup Series road course race at Daytona International Speedway.
Buescher rolled off the grid to tackle the unfamiliar course in 21st. The first stage of racing proved to be challenging as the driver worked hard to learn how to maneuver the tricks and turns of the track. By lap six Buescher was shuffled back to 24th, where he held track position until the team pitted under green at lap 13. With reports of a tight handling Ford, the team decided to take four fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments to the track bar and air pressure. Two laps later, Buescher took the green-white checkered flag for stage one in 30th.
The team elected not to pit at the stage break and restarted 14th for stage two. As Buescher continued to clock laps, he was shuffled back to 17th by Lap 23. The adjustments from the pit stop in stage one proved to work well and five laps later the team visited pit road under green for the same adjustments as the previous stop. Without enough laps to move back through the field, the Fastenal Ford finished stage two in 23rd.
With fresh tires and fuel from the late stop in stage two, the team stayed out and Buescher restarted 13th for the final segment. With handling on the Fastenal Ford dialed in, he driver gained momentum, working his way up inside the top-10. At lap 35, Buescher was up to ninth when the caution flag waved for lightning in the area. Cars drove down pit road for a brief lightning hold.
When the hold lifted, weather cleared from the area and the green flag waved again at lap 39. Buescher restarted 10th but made quick work clocking laps on the track, driving all the way up to sixth at lap 47. The team elected to pit at Lap 48 for fresh tires and fuel to make it to the checkered flag. After the pit stop, the team got back on track 21st. Buescher wasted no time driving through the field. By lap 57, he was back inside the top-10.
When the caution flag waved with five to go, Buescher was up to ninth. Two cars pitted in front of the driver, giving him a track position advantage to restart seventh with three laps to go. Pit strategy worked to the No. 17 team’s advantage as the fresh tires allowed Buescher to drive his way to fifth in the closing laps. The team ultimately took the checkered flag in fifth, securing the driver’s second top-five of the season and first ever top-five at a road course in the Cup Series. The finish also marked Jack Roush’s first Cup Series top-five on a road course since 2014.
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Road Course at Daytona on the Horizon for NASCAR This Weekend
Buescher Historically on Road Courses
Luke Lambert Historically on Road Courses
Buescher on racing at the Daytona RC:
“There’s a little bit of nerves knowing that our first laps on track are going to be side by side 20 rows deep, but definitely something that is going to be interesting. It is unfortunate we are not able to go to The Glen, but NASCAR has done a good job to figure out how to make this schedule work, and I’m excited to give the road course a shot and see what we can do. The programs we have and everything we are able to build out are very dependent on going to a track once before, and being able to have data and something to base everything off of. We don’t have that this time and are flying in blind, so we’re doing our best to collectively be as prepared as possible going in.”
Last Time Out
Buescher finished 20th in both Michigan events last weekend.
Where They Rank
Buescher is 23rd in driver standings through 22 events.
On the Car
Fastenal celebrates its 10th season with Roush Fenway Racing in 2020. The Minnesota company spent three years on the No. 99 before jumping to the No. 17 Cup Series entry, and were the primary partner on the No. 60 Xfinity team that captured the owner’s championship in 2011.
Represented on the decklid will be the Go Blue 500 Sales Event, running now through the end of September, which offers great savings on top brands that partner with Fastenal to support the No. 17 Fastenal Ford. The 10-Year Partnership logo will also be featured on the hood, celebrating Fastenal and Roush Fenway Racing’s 10-year anniversary.
Fastenal [Nasdaq: FAST] is North America’s largest fastener distributor and a ‘one-stop’ source for hundreds of thousands of OEM, MRO and Construction products. With more than 2,600 stores worldwide, the company supports B2B customers with tailored local inventory and dedicated personnel, who visit regularly, quickly respond to emergency needs, and provide efficient inventory management solutions. Fastenal’s service-oriented business network includes the world’s largest industrial vending program, 14 regional distribution centers, 8 custom manufacturing facilities, thousands of delivery vehicles, and industry-leading sourcing, quality and engineering resources.
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