Team: No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Twitter: @RFK17Team, @RFKRacing and @Chris_Buescher
Race Format: 600 miles, 400 laps, Stages: 100-100-100-100
Coca-Cola 600 – Sunday, May 29 at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
· Group practice and single-car qualifying returns this weekend ahead of the Coke 600, as teams will practice for 15 minutes Saturday evening, immediately followed by qualifying, set for 7:45 p.m. ET from CMS.
Buescher at Charlotte Motor Speedway
· Buescher will run his 10th Cup race from Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and seventh Coca-Cola 600.
· He has three top-10s at CMS with a best finish of sixth in the 2019 Coke 600. He’s run top-10 in the two 600 mile races since with a P10 finish in 2020 and an eighth-place run last spring.
· Buescher’s best starting position stands as 11th (2020 spring race) with a 21.7 average starting position.
· He also made five Xfinity Series starts at CMS with three top-10s and a best finish of sixth (2014).
Scott Graves at Charlotte Motor Speedway
· Graves will be atop the box for his 11th Charlotte Cup race, and seventh Coke 600. His best result at CMS came with Daniel Suarez in 2017 (sixth).
· Graves also made six Xfinity starts at CMS with four top-10s and a best finish of third (2016).
Buescher on the Coke 600:
“This weekend is obviously a big one with everything that takes place during Coke 600 weekend. This sport does a really good job of pausing to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day each year, and the fanfare around that and the race on Sunday is unmatched. This race is one we’ve really found some speed at over the years, and we’re confident heading into a long, 600-mile event Sunday in our Fifth Third Mustang.”
Last Time Out
Buescher raced his way into the All-Star Race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway by winning the second stage, then went on to finish eighth in the Fastenal Ford.
On the Car
Fifth Third makes its second appearance as the primary on the No. 17 this weekend. Fresh off celebrating its 10th season as a partner with RFK in 2021, Fifth Third returns this season for five races in total, while serving as an associate in all events for the No. 17 team.
600 Miles of Remembrance
In what has become an annual tradition within the NASCAR industry, the sport will once again come together to honor and remember the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom. Each car in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will display a fallen service member name on the windshield header of the car.
Buescher will carry the name of and honor 1st Lt. James Zimmerman, a member of the United States Marines, who lost his life on Nov. 2, 2010 at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. A native of Aroostook, Maine, Zimmerman was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment of Camp Lejeune, N.C., at the time of his death.
He was a graduate of Greater Houlton Christian Academy, class of 2003, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 21, 2003, the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He attended boot camp at Paris Island, S.C., and later attended the University of Maine, Orono, where he graduated in 2008 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marines. While at Orono he met his bride-to-be, Lynel Winters, whom he later married June 21, 2008.
Zimmerman attended The Basic School and the Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va., after which he was assigned as platoon commander for the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment of Camp Lejeune, N.C. In May 2010, he was promoted to first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was deployed June 13, 2010, to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Throughout his military career, he aspired to lead by example and loved his men, who in return loved him and respected his leadership and example. His lifelong ambition was to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and dedicate his life to his country. He loved bonfires, drawing, carving, outdoors, his backyard where he grew up, sailing and his horse, Chico. James never tired of giving his mother a hug. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Zimmerman dearly loved his family, his God and his country. He was 25.
About Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2020, Fifth Third had $203 billion in assets and operated 1,122 full-service banking centers and 2,456 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2020, had $405 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.