Chris Buescher to make 300th Cup career start at Richmond

Competing in his ninth full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, Chris Buescher is set to achieve a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s event at Richmond Raceway, the driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford Mustang Dark Horse will make career start No. 300 in NASCAR’s premier series. 

A native of Prosper, Texas, Buescher made his inaugural presence in the Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway in March 2015. By then, he was campaigning in his second full-time season in the Xfinity Series for Roush Fenway Racing. Driving the No. 34 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports as an interim competitor for David Ragan, who was serving as an interim competitor for the injured Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, Buescher started 33rd and finished a season-best 20th place in his Cup debut. He would pilot FRM’s No. 34 Ford for five additional Cup events, where he would earn three top-25 results at Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and at Talladega Superspeedway, respectively.  

Nearly a month after winning the 2015 Xfinity Series championship, Buescher was announced as a full-time Cup Series competitor in Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34 Ford for the 2016 season. Through the first 20 regular-season events, the Texan finished no higher than 14th place on the track, which occurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, and was mired outside the top-30 mark in the standings. Then at Pocono Raceway in August, Buescher capitalized on a pit strategic call to assume the lead on Lap 127 and retain the lead prior to the event being red-flagged on Lap 138 and eventually being deemed official due to inclement weather, which resulted with NASCAR declaring Buescher the race winner as he notched his first Cup career in his 27th series start. With the victory, Buescher became the first Cup rookie candidate to win a NASCAR premier series event since Joey Logano won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2009 and he recorded the second career win for Front Row Motorsports.

Following the Pocono victory, Buescher, who still needed to race his way above the top-30 cutline in the standings to be eligible to make the Playoffs, finished fifth at Bristol two races later. Despite finishing 30th, fifth, 35th, 17th and 24th, respectively, during the final five regular-season events, Buescher managed to vault himself above the cutline and make his inaugural presence in the Playoffs. Following respective finishes of 28th, 30th and 23rd throughout the Round of 16, however, he was eliminated from title contention. Finishing no higher than 16th during the final seven events on the schedule, Buescher capped off his first full-time Cup campaign in 16th place in the final standings. 

The 2017 season presented another new beginning for Buescher, who joined JTG-Daugherty Racing to pilot the team’s second entry, the No. 37 Chevrolet SS. After finishing no higher than 11th during the first 16 events on the schedule, he notched his first top-10 result of the season after finishing 10th at Daytona in July. He then finished ninth at Indianapolis two races later before finishing sixth at Michigan International Speedway another three races later. Amid the results, Buescher did not qualify for the 2017 Cup Series Playoffs. Managing a sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October, Buescher settled in 25th place in the final standings. Despite recording zero top-five results throughout the 2017 season, he managed to double his top-10 results in a season from two to four and boost his average-finishing result from his rookie Cup season from 26.1 to 21.4. 

Buescher would remain at JTG-Daugherty Racing for the following two Cup seasons. During the two-year stint, he accumulated a total of two top-five results, six top-10 results and 14 laps led, with his best on-track results being a pair of fifth-place finishes during both Daytona events in 2018. In 2018, Buescher ended up in 24th place in the final standings and recorded an average-finishing result of 21.0 as he also surpassed 100 career starts in NASCAR’s premier series. During the 2019 season, he gained four spots to 20th place at season’s end and boosted his average-finishing result to 17.8. 

Two months prior to the 2019 season’s conclusion, Buescher was announced to return to Roush Fenway Racing to pilot the No. 17 Ford Mustang for the 2020 season, where he replaced Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as Stenhouse made the transition to JTG-Daugherty Racing. Buescher commenced the season by finishing in third place during the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 after dodging a final lap harrowing accident involving teammate Ryan Newman. He then only accumulated an extra top-five result at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course in August, where he finished fifth, and a total of six top-10 results throughout the 26-race regular-season stretch, which were not enough for him to make the Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. He would proceed to accumulate two additional top-10 results during the Playoffs before settling in 21st place in the final standings and with an average-finishing result of 19.6. 

Throughout the 2021 Cup season, Buescher’s highest on-track result was a third-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course in October. He initially finished in second place during the regular-season finale at Daytona in August, but was demoted to last place after his car failed post-race inspection amid a rear sub-frame assembly violation. With a total of eight top-10 finishes and 93 laps led, Buescher, who did not make the 2021 Cup Playoffs, settled in 19th place in the final standings and with an average-finishing result of 17.3. By then, he also surpassed 200 Cup career starts. 

In 2022, Buescher, who commenced the season by winning the second Bluegreen Vacations Duel event at Daytona, settled in 16th place during the 64th running of the Daytona 500 before notching back-to-back top-10 results in March. At Dover Motor Speedway, the Texan nabbed his first Cup career pole position, where he would proceed to finish eighth. Then following a difficult May and early June period that included Buescher enduring a late rollover accident during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte followed by missing the inaugural event at World Wide Technology Raceway due to a positive COVID-19 test, he recorded a strong runner-up finish at Sonoma Raceway. Despite finishing third at Richmond Raceway in August and earning four additional top-10 results during the final 10 regular-season events, he fell short of making the 2022 Cup Playoffs.

Buescher then rallied three races later by notching his second Cup career victory at Bristol in September after leading a race-high 169, including the final 61. The victory not only snapped a 222-race winless drought for Buescher, but it also snapped a five-year winless drought for the Roush organization as the Texan also recorded the first victory for the organization that had been rebranded to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. Finishing no higher than sixth during the final seven events on the schedule, Buescher settled in 21st place in the final standings. By then, he achieved double digits in top-10 results (10), led 194 laps throughout the season and recorded an average-finishing result of 17.9. 

The 2023 Cup season was a career year for Buescher, who commenced the season by finishing fourth during the 65th running of the Daytona 500 after dodging a final lap multi-car wreck. After only recording a single top-10 result during his next nine starts, he then finished no lower than 18th during the following 12 regular-season events. Mired within the 12-race stretch were two top-five results and six top-10 results that kept Buescher and the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing team in the mix of contending for a Playoff spot.

Then at Richmond in July, Buescher led 88 laps and fended off Denny Hamlin during a three-lap shootout to score his first victory of the season and the third of his Cup career, which also enabled Buescher to clinch his spot for the 2023 Cup Playoffs. The following weekend, he led a race-high 52 laps and fended off a late challenge from Martin Truex Jr. to achieve back-to-back Cup victories for the first time in his career at Michigan International Speedway. Three races later, Buescher capped off the regular-season stretch by winning at Daytona after assuming the lead during an overtime shootout and leading the final two laps amid a 1-2 finish for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, with teammate/owner Brad Keselowski settling in second place.

With two top-five results and three top-10 results achieved during the first six Playoff events of the 2023 season, Buescher managed to transfer from the Round of 16 to 8. Amid respective finishes of 11th, 21st and eighth throughout the Round of 8, however, his title hopes came to a late end as he was unable to transfer into the Championship 4 round.

Nonetheless, Buescher proceeded to lead 18 laps and finish fifth during the season-finale event at Phoenix Raceway in November, which was enough for him to settle in a career-best seventh place in the final standings. Along with a career-high three victories, Buescher achieved career-high stats in top fives (nine), top 10s (17) and laps led (255) along with a new average-finishing result (12.1).  

Through 299 previous Cup starts, Buescher has achieved five victories, one pole, 20 top-five results, 59 top-10 results, 626 laps led and an average-finishing result of 19.2. He has recorded four top-10 results through the first six events on the 2024 schedule, with his best result being a runner-up finish at Phoenix Raceway in early March. He is currently ranked in 12th place in the 2024 regular-season standings.

Buescher is scheduled to make his 300th Cup Series career start at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 on Easter Sunday, March 31, with the event’s broadcast time slated to occur at 7 p.m. ET on FOX. 

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles