RELATED: Updated standings Chris Buescher gambled at Bristol and almost came up big. The key word in the previous sentence: 'Almost.' The 22-year-old Roush Fenway Racing driver took the lead at the .533-mile track after electing not to pit on Lap 192 of 300. Buescher paced the field for the next 106 laps, but a fuel pick-up issue on the penultimate go-around of the race ended any hopes of triumph. Buescher was relegated to 11th, while Ty Dillon finished third, cutting Buescher's NASCAR XFINITY Series points lead to 19. If Buescher didn't go for the win, he wouldn't have lost as many points to Dillon. "We had the speed, but it wasn't meant to be," Buescher said. "I'm glad we took the chance. I wouldn't change it if we could do it over again, but unfortunately it knocked us right out of a top-10 and out of a win." RELATED: Buescher : 'I'm glad we took the chance' Buescher and Dillon will continue to battle for the points lead in Saturday's Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (3 p.m. on NBCSN) -- the third and final XFINITY Series road course race of the season. The two drivers are the only competitors who finished in the top five of the previous two road course races. A natural on road courses, Buescher won at Mid-Ohio last year in addition to his two top fives while turning left and right this year. He placed 18th in his lone start at Road America last season. " Road America is a very difficult and unique road course," Buescher said. "I love road racing and look forward to the challenge." Dillon finished 19th in his first-ever series start at Road America last year. He enters Saturday's race riding a streak of four top-five finishes. "Our team is looking at the big picture and sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that this is a long season; to take it little by little," Dillon said. "This past weekend in Bristol was a perfect example -- we struggled the first part of practice but (Crew Chief) Nick (Harrison), (Race Engineer) Danny (Efland) and the team just took a step back and reevaluated. We have a championship to win here and it won't be easy. "We have 11 races to go and we're not going to let up."
Practice 2: Practice results After posting the fourth-fastest speed in the opening session, Sprint Cup Series regular Kasey Kahne soared all the way to the top in Thursday's final XFINITY Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Piloting the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports this weekend, Kahne laid down a fast lap of 180.433 mph to score the top spot. Fellow Cup regular and leader of the opening session, Kyle Busch was second on the leaderboard, propelling his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing ride at 180.114 mph around the North Carolina track. Points leader Chris Buescher -- who was runner-up in the first practice -- maintained his momentum during the second session, posting the third-fastest speed of 180.108 mph in his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. JR Motorsports' Regan Smith (180.096 mph) and Kyle Busch Motorsports' Erik Jones (180.066 mph) rounded out the top five. The XFINITY Series is back on track at Charlotte on Friday at 4:45 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (NBCSN/Live Extra). Practice 1: Practice results Kyle Busch topped the leaderboard early during Thursday's opening XFINITY Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway , wheeling his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 181.886 mph. Current series points leader Chris Buescher ranked second on the charts, rounding the 1.5-mile oval at 181.330 mph in his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Richard Childress Racing 's Ty Dillon posted the third-fastest speed in his No. 3 ride (181.318 mph), while Kasey Kahne -- who is piloting the No. 88 ride for JR Motorsports this weekend -- was fourth with a top pace of 181.020 mph. Ryan Reed rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 180.499 mph in his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing ride. Reigning series champion Chase Elliott was 12th-fastest in the field, propelling his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at 179.295 mph
NASCAR officials will return to Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, Oct. 20 to test a low downforce package similar to what was used in competition last month at Darlington Raceway . Drivers scheduled to take part in the test are defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet, current XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher ( Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford) and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota). According to information provided to the teams on Wednesday, the test is to verify max and corner speeds with three different grip levels of tires. The schedule calls for individual 10- and 25-lap runs in the morning and afternoon sessions. The lower downforce package debuted at Kentucky Speedway this season before also being put into play at Darlington, where it featured a 3.5-inch spoiler, 25-inch splitter extension panel (radiator pan) and 6.63-inch by 25-inch splitter. The only change for the MIS test will be an increase in the splitter extension panel to 33 inches. Drivers and teams were pleased with the initial results of the package, particularly at Darlington where Goodyear was able to provide a specific tire based on data gained from testing there prior to the race. The MIS test will take place approximately two months after the Sprint Cup Series competed at the 2-mile facility with a high-drag aerodynamic configuration. A high-drag package was also used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . JGR driver Matt Kenseth called the high-drag package "terrible." "You just can't pass," he said after finishing seventh in the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. "Yeah, you can run up on the straightaway a little bit, but you can't run though the corner with anything." A month later, after his driver dominated at Michigan with the same rules package, Kenseth's crew chief Jason Ratcliff said "at the end of the straightaway (cars could) gain on others two or three car-lengths. But they just couldn't do much once they got there and they got down in the corner, they were kind of helpless." The high-drag rules included a 9-inch spoiler with a 1-inch wicker bill, a rear fascia extension panel (similar to those used for superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega), a 2-inch leading edge on the splitter and a 43-inch splitter extension panel. "We know that high drag package is awful," four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon said following the Darlington race. "We know that this (lower downforce) is definitely in the right direction. … I think when you look at the less horsepower we had coming in this year it's the package that should have been with this car that we have now. You can't take that kind of power away and not do something significant to the downforce as well." Homestead Test Slated for December NASCAR and Goodyear officials have added a post-season test scheduled for Dec. 14-15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to continue preparations for the 2016 rules package. Organizations scheduled to participate in the test are Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet), Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet), Richard Petty Motorsports (Ford) and Furniture Row Racing (Toyota). It is expected to be the first on-track testing for Furniture Row and driver Martin Truex Jr . with a Toyota entry. The Denver-based team is making the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota for '16. Because of the change, SHR was added to the test to replace Furniture Row for Chevrolet. "I think '16, we're not really even thinking about right now," Truex said earlier this week. "We know what we're doing next year, we'll worry about that after (the final race at) Homestead. "I think everybody in the Chase is probably in the same position -- you're worried about today and tomorrow and this coming weekend. No further ahead. Once you set your plans, it's real easy." Lineup Change for Atlanta Test The Toyota teams of Michael Waltrip Racing and BK Racing have declined to take part in the Goodyear tire test slated for Oct. 27-28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Joe Gibbs Racing has been added to the lineup to represent Toyota teams at the 1.54-mile track. MWR will not field a full-time Sprint Cup Series team next season. The two-day program is a confirmation test for Goodyear; an open team test is scheduled for Oct. 29 following the completion of the tire test. CMS Tire Info Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series teams will be running the same tire codes this weekend at Charlotte, according to Goodyear officials, and is unchanged from what was provided for the 1.5 mile track's May races. The left-side tire code has been used at CMS since 2012; the right side, which features a multi-zone tread, was used there for the first time in May.
RELATED: Updated standings " Full results from Darlington Chris Buescher insists he's not counting points, not with nine races left in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season. That doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy his perch atop the standings as the calendar turns toward crunch time. "It's not over by any means," Buescher said Saturday after a scrappy fifth-place finish at Darlington Raceway . "There's a long way to go and we're going to have to race 'em hard all the way till the end, but I do like where we're at. We've been able to kind of fluctuate a little bit right in this area this year, and that's a huge testament to this 60 team, to everybody back at Roush Fenway. They've been working their tails off to try to get this stuff better, so we're in a good spot. We want to get Ford back to a championship this year." Buescher , 22, converted his last time out with his first top-five finish in four career tries at Darlington, looking old-school with a damp towel around his neck after a sweltering afternoon of survival. The effort helped the Roush Fenway Racing ace pad his lead from 16 to 29 points over new second-place driver Ty Dillon . Chase Elliott slipped a rung to third place in the standings after Darlington, but remains within striking distance, just 35 points off the top. The next challenge looming for Buescher is Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) at Richmond International Raceway , a track where he is 0-for-4 in the top-five column. "Circling that one as one we need to try to turn around," Buescher said. "That was a rough one for us earlier this year, but we have a lot of notes. We have a lot of things that've worked really well for us at short tracks since then, so we feel pretty comfortable going back. We'll have to wait and see, but it'll be a challenge surely. Honestly, I'm just glad we came out of Darlington with a solid day." Buescher will need more of the same at the .75-mile Virginia track, where he wrestled an ill-handling car to a 20th-place result in the most recent Richmond race, posting the No. 60 team's worst finish of the season. Since that April evening, when he lagged three laps behind at the checkered flag, Buescher has righted the ship with two victories, the most recent of which placed him atop the standings. To keep the team's streak at No. 1 intact, crew chief Scott Graves said he's hoping for another workman-like effort this weekend. "We've spent a lot of time since the last Richmond really thinking about what we're going to do there and coming up with a plan," Graves said. "So next week, for sure, it's really big for us." Buescher's recent results on short tracks offer some encouragement. He prevailed in May at Iowa Speedway , a slightly larger but similar layout, and just last month the Texas native contended for the win at .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway before running out of fuel on the race's final restart. The latter performance showed that Graves isn't afraid to gamble for victories rather than playing it safe. Even then, he remains cognizant about the bigger picture. "At this point, I'm always thinking about it," Graves said of his driver's position in the standings. "Nothing you can do other than just have days like we had today. If we keep doing this part, we're going to be fine. We've just got to prevent the bad things from happening. We do the best we can to keep it from happening and if we keep it up like this, we'll be just fine."
Chris Buescher talks about having a strong points day at Darlington Raceway and gives credit to the strength of his team.
Chris Buescher and the No. 60 team 'ran their own race,' and despite losing points to Chase Elliott, Buescher is pleased with a tenth-place finish.
Fans, drivers have chance to win $100,000 RELATED: 100,000 reasons to win " Learn more about Dash 4 Cash CONCORD, N.C. -- Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buescher picked up his second win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series last weekend at Iowa Speedway and took over the series points lead, but he said Thursday the only regret he had from the performance was that it didn't come this week in the Dash 4 Cash qualifier. Saturday's Hisense 300 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, Sirius XM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks the first step in the 2015 Dash 4 Cash as Buescher and other drivers who are eligible for XFINITY Series points will get a chance to race into the program's opener next weekend at Dover International Speedway . The Dash 4 Cash is a yearly contest that sparks excitement in the form of a $100,000 paycheck to the highest-finishing eligible driver in four select XFINITY Series races. This year's Dash 4 Cash includes races next week at Dover, July 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway . "I love short track racing and to have Dover and Darlington and Bristol in there is awesome, because those are three of my top five race tracks," Buescher said. "If we're fortunate enough to qualify in for it, I think the red banner on the windshield and the spoiler will match our paint scheme quite nicely." Yes, the red banner and spoiler on Dash 4 Cash-eligible cars will replace the blue ones that were used last year when Nationwide ran the show. But that isn't the only change Comcast made since taking over the program. The qualifier race is new to Charlotte, as is the finale at Darlington -- last year's finale at Iowa was won by Trevor Bayne -- and the inclusion of Dover and Bristol is also a change. Plus, the schedule is more spread out than usual, allowing Bristol and Darlington to get into the mix. But what remains the same is that fans can enter the NASCAR XFINITY Series $100,000 Sweepstakes at www.nascar.com/Dash4Cash for a chance to take home their own stack of cash if they are paired up with the winning driver at Darlington. "There's a lot of hype around it and it's cool for fan engagement and for the drivers to try and put a little extra pressure on themselves and our teams," Buescher said of the Dash 4 Cash. "It's going to be a little bit more spread out this year, which I think is a good thing. I think it gives a little more time to prepare and plan for it." First, drivers like Buescher need to qualify for the event and that means finishing in the top four among eligible drivers on Saturday. Buescher admitted that will be a tough task, because he said the track at Charlotte changes a lot throughout the weekend. Buescher has had two top-10 finishes in his three XFINITY Series starts at Charlotte, and even though it's a small sample size, it's something to build on for the 22-year-old Texas native. Plus, since he's coming to Charlotte fresh off the win in Iowa, he said he's feeling pretty confident about his chances. "It's been a good start to the season for us, for sure," Buescher said. "We've had new people on board this year, new teammates in Elliott (Sadler) and Bubba (Wallace). I feel like it's coming together quite nicely this year. We have race cars that are coming to the race track a lot quicker than they were at the beginning of last year at this point in time, and we're in a much better points position not missing Daytona for sure and being able to get a win early in the season." It's worth something, in more ways than one, to see if Buescher can carry that momentum into Saturday. For more information on the Dash 4 Cash, go to http://www.nascar.com/dash4cash.html . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Team owner Jack Roush sparked rumors that XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher could soon be competing for a Sprint Cup Series title in a Wednesday night interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, noting that the 22-year-old is "ready" for Cup racing and there's consideration for putting him in a car "sooner, rather than later." This was all news to Buescher . "(We've talked about) absolutely nothing. That has caught me so off-guard," Buescher said Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, site of Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). "My dad called me and asked me about it and I said 'I don't know what you're talking about right now.' And then the radio interview … came up, and it's nice to hear. It's awesome being recognized or being considered to move up." It's easy to see why Buescher would garner consideration from the longtime Roush Fenway Racing owner, given that his career has taken off at a tremendous rate since picking up his first career national series victory in this very race a year ago. A 2014 season that started with him failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona hit its stride midway at Mid-Ohio with a win, sparking a streak of dominance that has seen him lead the series' regulars with an average finish of 8.4 in 2015. RELATED: Buescher seeks separation in standings at Mid-Ohio While it's hard to resist the temptation to think about where he could be racing next year, Buescher is keeping his expectations tempered. "Sooner rather than later is a very broad statement," said Buescher , the only XFINITY regular with multiple wins this year. "I don't know when that would be, by any means. My progression has typically been a little slower than a lot of the guys that I've grown up racing around, when you look at a lot of the guys that are in this series, they typically don't spend as much time in each series as I have. I'm OK with that, though. I like the fact that I've been able to get a lot of seat time in each division that I've run and been able to move up when I feel like I'm ready." Set in motion from Kyle Busch 's injury to start the season, Buescher has six Sprint Cup starts under his belt this year, which have mostly come when he hopped in the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports ride previously inhabited by David Ragan , who filled in for Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18. His average finish in six races is 26.7, but he's managed to finish better than where he started in every race except last weekend at Watkins Glen. Buescher also mentioned there are no current plans for him to get any more Cup seat time this year, but didn't rule out spot starts as necessary. Either way, he knows the extra laps behind the wheel amidst the stronger competition are just as important as finishing position right now, and he's willing to put in the time to learning the ropes. "I've had a lot of fun doing the Cup races with Front Row Motorsports . I think it has been a very big learning experience. I've learned a lot going through it. I realized it's not a 'drop in, good to go, go win a race,' it's going to be a learning curve for me," Buescher said. "I'm ready for the challenge, but it will be a challenge and lot of learning that will go along with it, whenever it may be ... I think I'll be ready for it. We'll find out sooner than later." For now, Buescher is focused on pursuing a championship in the XFINITY Series. In that regard, the series points leader says that the on-track incidents with teammate and championship hopeful Darrell Wallace Jr . are a thing of the past. "We've got everything rolling along pretty smooth right now," he said. "We've taken care of all of our issues. We feel like, or we know that the best way to make all of our teams competitive is to work together and we've had meetings to to basically very firmly say that and get that out there. It's all good and we've all been over-working on sim before this race; watching video, trying to review; going around on some pace car rides this morning with all of our teammates. We feel good about where we're at right now. "Obviously it wasn't so much fun earlier, but it's on the right path. We feel like we're focused on going out there are getting more wins for our organization. This year's been really good for us on the XFINITY side. We're the only organization that has any XFINITY regulars with any wins, which is pretty special to me, I would say."
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Chris Buescher ’s Roush Fenway Racing team gambled twice during Friday night’s Food City 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Staying out under caution put the series points leader in front of the field, where he stayed for 106 laps around the high-banked, 0.533-mile track. But the decision to remain on the track also meant Buescher would need to manage his fuel mileage. And when the caution flag appeared for the eighth time, sending the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance, Buescher ’s good fortune ended. On a race-ending green, white, checkered restart, Buescher ’s No. 60 Ford sputtered on the backstretch shortly after the green flag appeared, handing the lead and the victory to Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch while leaving Buescher with an 11th-place result. “Honestly, we were really good on fuel mileage,” Buescher said afterward. “We felt like we were good to the end, especially if that caution didn’t come out. (It’s) just a matter of getting fuel into the pickup. Once I shook it around enough we got fuel back in it and ran to the end, but as much banking as we have here at Bristol it’s hard to keep fuel in the pickup. “It’s my fault. I needed to do better.” Ty Dillon ’s fourth-place finish, combined with Buescher ’s 11th place ending, allowed Dillon to close to within 19 points in the battle for the series championship. Defending series champion Chase Elliott (seventh) is third, 23 points behind the points leader. While disappointed, Buescher said he would make the same decision under similar circumstances if the opportunity presented itself. “I wouldn’t change the call if we could do it all over again,” he said. “I’m all for taking chances and winning these races. If it would have worked out, we’d have won this thing and we’d be talking about how good of a call it was for our points situation.” Buescher was able to pull away from the field on three of the four restarts that took place after his move to the front. And he appeared on his way to doing so a fourth time before his car began to slow. “We were faster than a lot of guys we were racing around all day and once we got track position we showed we could run away from these guys,” he said. “We had the speed, but it wasn’t meant to be. “I’m glad we took the chance. I wouldn’t change it if we could do it over again, but unfortunately it knocked us right out of a top-10 and out of a win.” Buescher is a two-time winner this season, with victories at Iowa Speedway and Dover International Raceway.
He has the best average finishing position overall, and the points lead. Now he hopes to build a little separation between himself and the rest of the field. Heading back to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where he scored his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win last year, Chris Buescher likes his chances. The Roush Fenway Racing driver has been atop the series points standings since earning career win No. 2, at Iowa, in a span of near one dozen races. Next up is Saturday's Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). It's the second of three road-course stops in the span of a month for the series. Given his success at Mid-Ohio, and a third-place run this past weekend at Watkins Glen, it's little wonder Buescher , 22, is looking forward to the next few weeks. "I really hope that road courses will be a strong point for us," Buescher said. "I feel really comfortable going back to Mid-Ohio obviously. Road America (where he finished 18th a year ago) was the one where I needed a little bit more work. "I think we should be able to run top 10 very easily there. I like road racing ... I seem to hang in there and we seem to be able to put fast Roush Fenway race cars on the track." Road America, coming up at month's end, falls later on this year's schedule than in recent seasons when the race there was held in June. Buescher doesn't lead the series as far as average finish on road courses is concerned. In the past two seasons, he ranks fourth (12.8) along with Ty Dillon . Chase Elliott (5.3), Elliott Sadler (7.8) and Brian Scott (8.8) have been a bit more consistent. But Buescher , crew chief Scott Graves and his No. 60 crew have been getting better. Not that there haven't been hiccups, but the team has yet to finish outside the top 20 this season. They've been good, but not great, as the Watkins Glen finish attests. "I like where we’re at right now," Buescher said. "We have speed in our road course cars. The (Team) Penske cars showed up better than us (at Watkins Glen) though. They were very fast, class of the field. That being said, they always run fast at that particular track. "Mid-Ohio, I don't feel like there was a car there that really had something better than us last time around. If we can repeat that, maybe we can improve on it a little bit. I’m pretty comfortable where we're at." Elliott, the defending series champion, trails Buescher by 24 points (724-700). Dillon (also 24 back), Regan Smith (minus-57) and Sadler (minus-58) round out the top five.