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Ford Performance NASCAR: Buescher Gives RFK Racing First Win After Taking Bristol Night Race

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR Cup Series
Bass Pro Shops Night Race Post Race | Saturday, September 17, 2022

CHRIS BUESCHER EARNS FIRST WIN FOR RFK RACING

  • Chris Buescher won his first race of the season and second overall with today’s victory.
  • The win is the 138th NASCAR Cup Series triumph for car owner Jack Roush and the first under the Roush Fenway Keselowski banner.
  • Today’s win is Ford’s 718th all-time in NASCAR Cup Series competition.

Ford Finishing Order:

1st – Chris Buescher
8th – Cole Custer
10th – Kevin Harvick
11th – Michael McDowell
13th – Brad Keselowski
14th – Chase Briscoe
16th – Harrison Burton
17th – Cody Ware
18th – Todd Gilliland
20th – Austin Cindric
23rd – JJ Yeley
24th – BJ McLeod
27th – Joey Logano
28th – Aric Almirola
30th – Ryan Blaney

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – “THis has been number one on my list for a really long time. I actually love this racetrack. It’s my favorite place we come on concrete. It’s just so special to get Fastenal their first points Cup race. After all these years we finally got them into Victory Lane. We’ve got a bunch of Fastenal folks out here with us, so that’s really special and to get Ford in Victory Lane and spoil the playoffs. Everybody on this team did such a great job, executed all day long and we had a really fast Ford Mustang. A lot of special things came together. I want to give a shout out to Adam Reagan. He’s back at home and just had some knee surgery, so he’s at home recovering. I’m just so excited right now. This is one I’ve had circled for a really long time and if there was gonna be one this year to get, this is it.”

YOU MENTIONED SPOILING THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT THIS CAR THAT ALL THREE PLAYOFF WINNERS HAVE NOT BEEN PLAYOFF DRIVERS? “I don’t even know what that count is for the year now. I think that we knew we’ve had a ton of different winners this year and we’ve been really close and fighting hard to get here. We’ve had a great summer. A little bad luck, but we didn’t have any of that tonight. We had some good fortune and some good execution and a fast race car and got to park in Victory Lane.”

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GET ROUSH BACK IN VICTORY LANE? “This is big to get RFK their first win and to get to talk to Jack and Brad and have our owners excited and pumped up to get back in Victory Lane is a great feeling and hopefully it’s the first of many. I feel like we’ve taken some big steps, so it’s special to get here. I appreciate Jack and everything he’s done for my career through the years and giving me a chance very early on and all the people back then – Robbie Reiser and Ken Ragan, David Ragan, all those that have done so much for my career and, of course, my parents and my family as well. It’s all come to this. This one is a little more special than the first one even, so it’s pretty big.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, Owner, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – “There are forty-some of the best cars that nobody is gonna give you anything. You scratch and claw for every little bit every day and every hour and, if you’re lucky and you don’t wreck, you don’t blow up, you don’t have a problem and you finish 10th to 15th, and if you’re lucky and you’re damn good, you win. If you’re damn good and you’re not lucky, you still finish 20th or worse, so we had two cars that were really good today and one that was unlucky and one that executed and everything came the right way for them.”

COULD YOU GET USED TO THIS BEING YOUR FUTURE, STANDING HERE AND WATCHING OTHERS WIN? “Oh yeah, I’m proud as hell. Everybody has some level of ego and I’m not gonna say I don’t have any ego, but it’s easy to get over ego when you see that.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE CELEBRATING AS AN OWNER VERSUS A DRIVER? “It’s a lot different, but it’s good. This team really earned this. We really needed this for Fastenal. They’ve been a long-term partner for us and half the battle here is just keeping sponsors. There’s a lot to keeping the race team going and, sure, trying to find that speed or the next pit crew member or whatever the heck it is, but trying to keep the sponsors is the only way we can do those things and you can’t keep sponsors if you don’t win.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang – TALK ABOUT BEING ELIMINATED. “It just kind of goes with the whole year. Nothing has gone right, really. The wheels literally fell off tonight.”

YOU’VE HAD A PIT CREW ALL YEAR LONG. “Yeah, they’ve done a good job, just bad timing.”

HOW FRUSTRATING WAS IT NOT TO HAVE A SHOT TO RACE FOR IT AT THE END? “It was pretty tough. We pitted in front of the 17, but that’s just the way the year has gone. We went from having a chance to lead the parade to being a part of the parade, just difficult to pass. The cars are way too fast in the corners. You can’t race.”

ARE YOU JUST ABOUT RACE WINS FROM HERE ON OUT? “We wouldn’t do anything different. We do that every week.”

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – YOU HAD A BIG CUSHION, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE NIGHTS LIKE TONIGHT IT PAYS TO HAVE THAT, DOESN’T IT? “Yeah, definitely. You never know what can happen and having that flat, there’s nothing that we can do about it. You’re lucky you have that cushion going into this race. The most unfortunate part is our car was super fast, too. That was the terrible thing about it. The worst part about it now, looking back. The car was really good and just had no indication. It seemed like a lot of guys had right-front problems tonight, but I’m proud of everybody for getting it fixed up and just out there to finish the race. There really wasn’t much we could do, just log laps and let everything play itself out. That’s why you try to have two good races beforehand because you never know when you’re gonna need some points.”

ANY ANXIOUSNESS SITTING IN THE CAR DURING STAGE TWO WHILE THEY WORKED ON IT? “I mean, you’re always concerned. I just didn’t know what the situation was until the start of stage three when I asked and we got back on the track. There were so many changing factors at the time, so you’re always nervous but there’s nothing we could do. We were wrecked and running last. We were gonna be 150 laps down, so I was trying not to be too nervous, but I did ask. I might have been biting my nails a little bit, but luckily we did a good job the first two races.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Freightliner Ford Mustang – DO YOU HAVE TO CATCH YOUR BREATH AFTER THAT ONE? “For a while I was just trying as hard as I can and as they fell off like flies just trying not to force any issues, try not to force any more right-front tire failures. From there, I think I was tied with the 18 for 100 laps, but just one hell of a night. I still don’t think this place loves me back, but it probably showed me a little mercy tonight, so I’ll take it and run with it. We’ll be on offense for the next three races just like we were to start Darlington this round and have some fun with it.”

YOU QUESTIONED THE CAUTIONS AT ONE POINT BECAUSE THERE WASN’T ONE THROWN FOR YOU AND A COUPLE OTHERS DIDN’T EITHER, BUT SOME DID. “Yeah, there’s a part of me that wants to go, ‘Man, that’s kind of b.s. I blew a tire and didn’t get a caution,’ but I would also think that NASCAR probably recognized there might be some issues with tires and probably understand that, ok, it’s not just a one-time deal. Mine was the first to go. I’m happier about it because I made it in. I’d be less happy about it if I didn’t make it in, but certainly there’s something to be said about coming to a very important race in the year with a new tire, but it’s not my decision to make and just understand how we can make that better on our side.”

WHAT WAS YOUR RANGE OF EMOTIONS AFTER THE TIRE WENT DOWN? IT WAS A LONG NIGHT. “The only time I got emotional was when the 10 tried to wreck us into the 21. That was kind of lame, but after that I just drive as hard as I can, don’t take too many chances, calculate your risks and stay updated with the situation.”

WERE YOU UPDATED CONSTANTLY ON THE POINTS? “Not until there was a chance. I would say I got told at the beginning of stage three how close it was or how close it wasn’t. I was probably about 16 out at the beginning of stage three and then we were five out, four out, tied with the 18 and that wave around really helped me be able to conserve my car and get a lap ahead of the 77 and the 43, so just a perfect storm in some ways, but Bristol showed us a little mercy tonight.”

THE 22 MECHANICAL FAILURE WORKED TO YOUR ADVANTAGE A LITTLE BIT. “Not a very impressive night for Team Penske, so I’m just glad all three of us made it through to the next round. Certainly, a tense evening.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Magical Vacation Planner Ford Mustang – “I was kind of worried pretty early in the race that I was gonna struggle and was able to get fourth in that first stage, third in the second stage and really set us up to where I think we were right at the cut line starting that final stage. We had some luck with the 18 blowing up and a couple guys getting wrecked and there at the end it was unfortunate, we kind of just rode around making sure we didn’t eliminate ourselves, so I’m super proud to be able to move onto the Round of 12. That’s a really big accomplishment. We’ve just got to do what we did today, not eliminate ourselves. That’s gonna be the key to this next round, especially with how many wild card races there are, so if we can go there and do that, guys are gonna keep eliminating themselves. We just have to limit our mistakes and if we do that, we know we’ve got to have a little more speed, but if we can just limit our mistakes it gives us a chance to move on in the next round as well.”

HOW DID YOU GET POWER-STEERING BACK? “I didn’t have it the whole race. My arms are smoked. That was not the most fun. It was ripping the wheel out of my hands every time I ran the bottom and up at the top it was a little bit easier, so I kind of had to run the top no matter what just to try to last, but luckily there wasn’t a ton of long, long runs. There was a couple there towards the end where I was struggling. Luckily, we were already kind of locked in. I didn’t have to race super hard, but not the most fun place to not have power-steering for sure.”

COLE CUSTER, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang – “We had a really solid day. The guys brought a really fast car the whole weekend from when we just unloaded. It was a lot of fun to drive, so we had a solid day. We executed well and stayed out of trouble and was able to end up with a top 10. Hopefully, we can carry that momentum to next week.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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