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."
RELATED: Dillon celebrates amid fireworks at Charlotte CONCORD, N.C.—Pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway had a scary moment for Austin Dillon . A firework came down next to the pole sitter and his girlfriend, Whitney Ward. The firework landed on Dillon's backside and burnt the back of his fire suit, NBCSN reported before the race got underway. By the way the driver of No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet drove on this night, he seemed fine. He led 61 laps en route to completing a season sweep of the Charlotte XFINITY Series events in 2015, while also scoring his fourth XFINITY win of the year in just his 16th start. "I was praying with my girlfriend and I think it was a sign from God," Dillon said after the race. "He said, 'your getting ready to have a good night or something.' Get your butt in gear." Dillon said it hurt a little bit and showed off his burnt fire suit in the media center. Dillon's crew chief, Danny Stockman Jr. said that the whole thing didn't seem real. "To be honest with you, it was looking at a movie screen and seeing all the light crashing right in front of you," Stockman said. "I thought it was not real for a second. Then, it kind of went in between the door and Austin's butt. It burnt his fire suit up. It burnt the wrap on the car. They tell kids don't play with fireworks for a reason." Stockman admitted to also being concerned about possible damage to the car from the firework. "As it fell it hit the left front side skirt and went underneath the car. As hot as whatever is coming off that firework is, it could have burned something underneath there. We checked it out and it was good. Pretty wild."
Burton wins his sixth pole of the 2013 season
Danny Bohn Rides on Roof at UNOH Battle At the Beach.
Regan Smith, who is trying to get back into the championship battle, celebrates a key victory at Dover International Speedway.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- News of Richard Childress Racing 's crew chief switcheroo for its Nos. 3 and 33 Chevrolet teams in the NASCAR XFINITY Series might've seemed like a rash measure back in June. With Ty Dillon sitting second in the driver standings, the swap resembled an overhaul more than a tweak. Eight races later, the early returns are promising for both RCR outfits, with momentum aligning for Dillon's championship push heading into Saturday's Road America 180 Fired up by Johnsonville (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Dillon remains second in the standings with a 19-point deficit heading into the 23rd of 33 races this season, but he also has a streak of four straight top-five finishes built up for the final road course event of 2015. The Richard Childress-owned team announced its move June 24, moving Nick Harrison over to call the shots for Dillon's No. 3 operation. Danny Stockman shifted over to RCR's No. 33, a full-time team but with three part-time drivers -- Austin Dillon , Brandon Jones and Paul Menard -- sharing the seat. The younger Dillon said the change has gone smoothly so far, but that the more encouraging byproduct has been the team's ability to compete for top-five finishes rather than settle for top-10s. "It's going really good. We're all figuring it out and we've made sure we've had our communication down the last couple weeks," Ty Dillon said. "Every week, we've gotten stronger and stronger and had really good race cars. It makes it easier to finish top-five when you have such good race cars. Nick's been calling good races and we just have a lot of momentum right now, heading in the right direction. We keep finishing in the top five like we are, we're going to get some wins and really put the heat on them." The move paid some immediate dividends for Austin Dillon , who prevailed at Daytona International Speedway in the team's first event since the personnel change. The Dillon-Stockman pairing reunited the driver-crew chief combination that netted the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2011, then the XFINITY crown two years later. Menard will participate in his fourth race under Stockman's watch this weekend, making his first XFINITY start in his home state of Wisconsin since 2010. The Sprint Cup Series regular said he understood the reasons for altering the team dynamic. "It was more for Ty, honestly," Menard said. "They called me to see if I was OK with making the switch and I said whatever is better for the company is fine with me. I know we'll run good with both those guys." Ty Dillon has methodically made up ground -- or at least held serve -- in the weeks following the change. After crashing out at Daytona and slipping to 43 points in arrears, he's chopped the deficit in half and then some, helping him apply pressure to Roush Fenway Racing 's Chris Buescher , the points leader since May. It's resulted in additional spring in the step for Dillon, noticeably so according to Harrison. "We've had a string of top-fives here, so we've got some kind of mojo rolling and we've been having fun doing it," Harrison said. "The pressure and intensity level's getting higher as we creep down toward the end of the year. Having some momentum is definitely showing to be a strength, and you can tell it's helping everybody's spirit going into the closing part of the year. "We've had two top-fives at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen, so coming here, I think confidence is up for not only us but especially Ty. I feel like that's real important. You can just tell his attitude and charisma is where it needs to be right now and I feel like that's going to help tremendously." The poise may come in handy this weekend on the blazing fast 4.048-mile circuit, where off-course pitfalls and the prospect of fender-bending conflicts await. Dillon has managed to steer clear of the former if not quite the latter in this month's other two road-course events, gathering top-five finishes at both. The potential for trouble -- mixed in with the uncertainty of possible racing in the rain -- hasn't done much to deter Dillon's outlook as the final third of the season begins. "We're going for it. This is definitely an opportunity," Dillon said. "We're not sitting back and trying to let things happen for us. We're going for it. You never know what can happen with rain and the way a road course races anyway, so we've got to be on the attack and try to win this race."
RELATED: Part 1 " Part 2 MORE: Meet the 16 Chase crew chiefs This is the third in a series of four pit crew analysis pieces NASCAR.com will roll out this week as we preview the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . For more pit crew news provided by PitTalks.com come back throughout the Chase. Team Penske No. 2 Ford for Brad Keselowski Pit Coach: Trent Cherry Front Changer: Hunter Masling Front Carrier: Jeremy Ogles Jackman: Braxton Brannon Rear Changer: Dwayne Ogles Rear Carrier: Tyler Mitchell Gas Man: Nick Hensley Strength: This is the same group that pitted BK last year in the Chase and it has lots of talent. The team was part of six wins last year and one so far this year. Pitting a winning car is something this crew is used to doing. Weakness: This team has shown both signs of greatness and struggle all year. If it can improve on consistency it can be a scary team to pit against. Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet for Martin Truex Jr . Pit Crew: 78 Pit Coach: Walt Smith Front Changer: Dave Collins Front Carrier: Craig Curione Jackman: Carey Wimbish Rear Changer: Kyle Turner Rear Carrier: Adam Mosher Gas Man: Brian Dheel Strength: They have a cool nickname: "Box-spring bandits." On a more serious note, this team is loaded with veterans and has perhaps the most experience of any crew in the Chase. Weakness: This crew has been all over the place this year. It is a good crew when things are right but keeping it right is a challenge. Earlier in the year the team made a change at rear changer but that didn't last long. A few weeks later it was back to the original crew. There's enough veteran talent that if the team can keep up with its driver, it has a chance to run deep in the Chase. Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota for Denny Hamlin Pit Coach: Mike Lepp Front Changer: Dustin Necaise Front Carrier: Brandon Pegram Jackman: Nate Bolling Rear Changer: Mike Hicks Rear Carrier: Heath Cherry Gas Man: Caleb Hurd Strength: This crew is solid at every position and works great under pressure. There has been a lot of talk about this team over the year and rightfully so. The team was instrumental in JGR winning the All-Star race has put its driver in position to win multiple times this year. Look for this to be one of the crews to beat come Chase time. Weakness: As good as this group is there have been races where consistency has been an issue. This team gets up for the big stops better than any team out there but sometimes relies on the Money Stop. Keeping jack man Nate Bolling healthy is also a major concern. Nate is coming off a very bad injury in the offseason and is a major contributor to the success. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Chevrolet for Jamie McMurray Pit Coach: Shaun Peet Front Changer: Danny Kincaid Front Carrier: Ben Fetzer Jackman: Shane Wilson Rear Changer: Kenyatta Houston Rear Carrier: Art Simmons Gas Man: Mike Metcalf Strength: This crew has been one of the best surprises of the year. It has been very good as of late and the chemistry within this group is strong. It's a group of talent that was put together this year by first-year coach Shaun Peet, and it's working. Weakness: This team has zero wins this year and hasn't found itself pitting under winning pressure for most of the year. In order to compete in the Chase the team will have to thrive under pressure situations. For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com
RELATED: Complete race results " Updated standings ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- The decision to compete in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR XFINITY Series sixth annual Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America (Wisconsin) paid off in a huge way for Paul Menard , who scored his third career XFINITY victory at his hometown track. Menard, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, started eighth and saw a decision to stay out after pitting on Lap 24 work to his advantage as he edged out a relentless Ryan Blaney by 0.573 seconds at the 14-turn road course. After the contest, Menard said had the race extended a lap farther, he would not have collected his first XFINITY win since Michigan International Speedway last June. "I've been really fortunate to win at some of the coolest tracks, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Road America is right there," Menard said. "These guys called a great race. We didn't have the fastest car. We had a really good short run car. We really burned off the rear tires as we ran, but the Richmond Water Heaters/Menards Chevrolet was fast and (crew chief Danny ) Stockman made a hell of a call at the end." If wondering about running out of fuel wasn't enough, Menard also had to fend off a hard-charging Blaney. "I was definitely concerned," added Menard on both circumstances. "I was saving as much as I could under caution, but then when we fired off I was just chattering the left rear tire really bad. It took a couple of laps for it to come in, then the (No.) 22 started burning his stuff up, but it just didn't fire off very good in the end, but it came to us." After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Coors Light Pole qualifying, Ben Rhodes earned the top starting spot based upon turning the fastest lap at the 4.048-mile road course in the first XFINITY Series practice session Friday afternoon. Rhodes, a NASCAR Next alum, would find himself under pressure from the drop of the green flag when JR Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott made the move for the lead in Turn 1. Quickly, though, the field would be under the first full-course caution of the day when Tomy Drissi found himself stuck in the gravel trap in Turn 5. Racing resumed on Lap 4 with Elliott checking out from the field and before the first round of green-flag pit stops. The reigning champion stretched his lead to over 10 seconds, when he relinquished the top spot on Lap 11 for a routine pit stop. Championship contender Ty Dillon inherited the lead when Elliott pitted. Dillon, who finished 10th, stretched his fuel run an extra lap to earn a crucial bonus point toward the championship picture. When pit stops cycled through, Elliott reclaimed the point on Lap 16 and built a 13.7-second lead over second-place Brian Scott at the halfway mark. On Lap 22, the second caution waved for fluid on the track, erasing Elliott's substantial advantage. Despite half of the field electing to come to pit road for service behind them, Elliott and his JRM team stood firm on their plan and stayed out. On the restart, Elliott withstood a challenge for Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney , but in Turn 14 and through the frontstretch, Scott mounted the pressure and made the move on Elliott to take the lead on Lap 27. Unable to make it to the end on fuel, Scott pitted under green on Lap 29 handing the lead to defending race winner Brendan Gaughan . Three laps later, though, Gaughan pitted, handing the lead to hometown hero Paul Menard who pitted during the second caution with 13 laps remaining. Planning to stay out till the end, Menard in saving mode purposely gave up the lead to Blake Koch ,who led with 10 laps remaining when pole-sitter Rhodes found himself stuck in the gravel trap in Turn 7 issuing the third full course caution. During the extended caution, Koch lost power, putting Menard back at the point. On the Lap 41 restart, Menard withstood challenges from Darrell Wallace Jr . and Blaney to seal the win in his 197th career start. Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is a trip to the track dubbed "Too Tough To Tame" at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Sept. 5 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
Miss Coors Light, Amanda Mertz, catches up with Carl Edwards the Coors Light Pole Award winner for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The guys are joined by NCWTS driver Spencer Gallagher talk about the contact between Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson on track and in the motor coach lot. Listen to the whole show in iTunes by searching: 'The Dirty Air Podcast'