Get the latest Chris Buescher news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Rookie is seventh in points, despite not qualifying for season-opening race RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today For Chris Buescher , 2014 counts as a season of on-track growth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series . The progress has been even more of an eyebrow-raiser considering that the growth was nearly stunted before the season started. Early blips aside, Buescher has rounded into competitive form during his rookie season in Roush Fenway Racing's No. 60 Ford Mustang. He'll hope to build steam from last weekend's mistake-free fourth-place finish at Dover into Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Kansas Speedway . The current run of momentum remains in sharp contrast to Buescher's delayed start to the season at Daytona International Speedway in February. Buescher was among nine drivers missing out on Coors Light Pole Qualifying in the series' first try at the new multi-round group qualifying format, a three-round session cut short by rain. Missing the race and starting the season the following weekend at Phoenix left the team facing a large deficit in the series standings. As the campaign has plodded along, the 21-year-old Texan has made the most of the early setback, steadily advancing to seventh place using the team's go-for-broke approach with little stake in the championship fight. All the while, sitting out Daytona has remained in the back of Buescher's mind. "Yeah, we always think about that," he said Saturday after the Dover 200 . "Not getting to make our first Daytona start due to the new format, rain, weather, what have you -- we were extremely fast, but we took it for what it is and we've been going forward understanding that we missed a race and we're still seventh in points. I look at it as a big plus for our whole team. I'm really proud of these guys for sticking with it and going out here. "We've taken a lot of chances this year. We've been in position to do it now. We have nothing to lose in the points, so it's almost been a blessing for us to be able to experiment a little bit and take some chances that you usually wouldn't do." The highlight of Buescher's progression came in August, when he emerged at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for his first career victory. Since then, the finishes have been solid but not spectacular -- up until last weekend's super-steady top-five result at the Monster Mile. Though making monumental steps further up in the standings is virtually out of reach -- Buescher ranks 78 points behind sixth-place Trevor Bayne , his Roush Fenway teammate -- the team still has chances to make strides over the final five races of the season. "I mean, that's our goal," said Scott Graves, Buescher's crew chief. "The end of the season, we're definitely talking that we want to be top-five and in contention every week. Just really want to show people that we're here and we're for real and finish off strong, for sure." That quest begins this weekend at Kansas, where Buescher finished 16th last year in just his ninth career Nationwide Series start. His results this season on 1.5-mile tracks have been a hodgepodge, but his portfolio of four top-10 finishes in eight races on intermediate-sized tracks this year provides hope. "It's been a struggle at first, but we've made a lot of gains," said Buescher , who took seventh place in the series most recent race at a 1.5-mile track, two weeks ago at Kentucky. "Our last couple of mile-and-a-halfs have been really good, so I think we can build on that, go out there and contend and get these top-fives." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chris Buescher has just enough fuel to hold off the field and earn his first career NNS victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Kyle Larson spins on Lap 89, coming down the track and hitting Chris Buescher .
Buescher's Mid-Ohio victory gave the Nationwide Series three rookie winners
Joey Logano and Regan Smith leave Dover wondering what could have been, while Chris Buescher brings home his best finish since the win at Mid-Ohio.
Chris Buescher describes his emotions during the final laps of his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Driver set to compete in NASCAR XFINITY Series Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final standings this past season and a graduate of NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity initiatives, will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015 for Roush Fenway Racing , according to RFR officials. Wallace, 21, will join drivers Chris Buescher , Ryan Reed and Elliott Sadler in the RFR lineup. Wallace will pilot the organization's No. 6 Ford Mustang previously driven by Trevor Bayne . Additional team personnel and sponsorship will be announced at a later date. "I've had a remarkable journey over the last few years thanks to people who have put me in a position to win the races that I have," Wallace said. "When I first joined the sport, many said I would never compete with the real drivers. Now, as I join the winningest (XFINITY) team in NASCAR history, I take that as a responsibility to add more wins to the team's legacy and help tear down the barriers for the next generation of NASCAR drivers." Wallace won five races from 2013-14 while competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, scoring four this past season. RELATED: Bubba done with KBM as team announces 2015 lineup In 2013, he became the first African American driver to win a NASCAR national series event in 50 years when he won his first Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway . This past year, he successfully defended his title while driving an entry whose paint scheme and number 34 paid tribute to NASCAR's first African American winner, Wendell Scott. Wallace made six career Nationwide (soon to be XFINITY ) Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing , with whom he was under contract, between 2012-14. He finished in the top 10 in four of those starts, with a best finish of seventh at Iowa (in 2012) and Daytona (2014). However, without sponsorship to remain at KBM, and with no funding for him at JGR in the XFINITY Series, Wallace asked for and was granted his release earlier this month. RFR president Steve Newmark said Wallace "is viewed in industry circles as one of the brightest young drivers." "He has a charismatic personality and at the same time has exhibited the ability to win on the race track," Newmark said. "We are looking forward to getting him in our race cars next season." In addition to the four XFINITY Series teams, Roush Fenway also fields teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series for drivers Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Greg Biffle . Bayne, who is making the move up to compete full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015, finished sixth in the Nationwide Series this past season, while Buescher , who won once, was seventh and Reed ninth. Sadler spent the previous two seasons at JGR, finishing fourth in 2013 and third this past year. RELATED: Wallace Jr. receives release from JGR Roush Fenway Racing's XFINITY Series program is the winningest in NASCAR, having earned 133 victories. Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (2011-12), Carl Edwards (2007) and Biffle (2002) have won series championships for the group. "We are certainly pleased to have Bubba Wallace come on board," team co-owner Jack Roush said. "He is certainly a great young talent and I feel it will be mutually beneficial for us to be able to put him into a team environment with a veteran driver like Elliott (Sadler) and the young guys Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed . "We have had a great deal of history in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and we are happy to have Bubba as the latest piece of that rich legacy." The addition of Wallace to the Ford camp is a boost for the automaker as well. "We're thrilled to have Bubba Wallace be part of our Ford Mustang racing efforts," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "His winning performances since becoming part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program have certainly made him one of the drivers in the sport to watch in the future, and we think he can bring a lot to Roush Fenway and Ford, both on and off the track." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Dylan Kwasniewski and Chris Buescher battle into Turn 1, wrecking each other and bystander David Starr.
Chris Buescher makes an awesome save after getting loose at Dover International Speedway.