XFINITY Series regular to drive No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Chris Buescher will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend in Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). The NASCAR XFINITY Series regular for Roush Fenway Racing will pilot the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports at Auto Club Speedway . The team announced the news on its Twitter account. . @Chris_Buescher will make his first Sprint Cup start for Front Row Motorsports in the No 34 this weekend. pic.twitter.com/l5iQXQsa4K — FrontRow Motorsports (@FrontRowNASCAR) March 20, 2015 Buescher will replace Brett Moffitt , who shifted over to the No. 55 Toyota for Brian Vickers . Moffitt, a Michael Waltrip Racing development driver, had made starts in the past two races in the No. 34 Ford. Vickers is out for the Auto Club 400 due to a recurrence of blood clots. "We have no Cup starts so this will be the first," Buescher said in a Ford release. "I've run a lot of Cup test sessions and throughout the years I've done a lot at Roush Fenway on the Cup side, but this will be the first race. The circumstances that bring it about are not ideal. We wish Brian Vickers the best and want to try to do the best we can for Front Row Motorsports now at this point." Getting Buescher in the No. 34 Ford all came together very quickly. "I was actually getting breakfast over by the hotel and Robbie Reiser called me," Buescher said. "It's kind of similar to the way my first XFINITY race went down. I was getting ready for an ARCA race and got the call and was rushed to Richmond, so it's been wild. I'm happy to help out Front Row and help out another Ford team. We're trying to all work the best we can to make this happen as smoothly as possible. It's going to be a wild weekend between the two schedules. I's excited to get the opportunity, so I appreciate that very much, but we're gonna have to be on our toes this weekend." Buescher is currently second in the XFINITY Series point standings and has two top-five finishes in four races. The 22-year-old Texas native won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last summer for his first NASCAR national series win. "We still have to put our focus on the XFINITY side," Buescher said. "We're in contention to win a championship and we need to make sure that our effort is on that area, but, at the same time, we're more than happy to help out on the Cup side and try to help these guys have a good, solid run and stay up there in points." David Ragan , who has driven the No. 34 Ford for the past three seasons, currently is filling in for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . Ragan delivered Front Row Motorsports its first win in 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway . In addition to the No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports fields two other Sprint Cup entries, the No. 35 driven by Cole Whitt and the No. 38 driven by David Gilliland . MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Buescher : 'We have a good mentality around our group'
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.
Buescher's Mid-Ohio victory gave the Nationwide Series three rookie winners
Chris Buescher describes his emotions during the final laps of his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Chris Buescher makes an awesome save after getting loose at Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Larson spins on Lap 89, coming down the track and hitting Chris Buescher .
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.
Dylan Kwasniewski and Chris Buescher battle into Turn 1, wrecking each other and bystander David Starr.