By Sandi Argo
Photos (with permission) by Nigel Kinrade Photography
For the fans of MENCS driver, Chris Buescher, the 2019 season has been an exciting one. With a very consistent running in the top 20, 5 times finishing in the top 15 and 3 times in the top 10 (and let’s not forget to mention the 10 laps he led in Kansas!) There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he has “come a long way, baby” and The Buescher Nation is ready to taste the champagne that we know will soon be opened in celebration. The results definitely do not tell the story of the way Buescher has taken on this season. With a lot of guts and determination, the drivers at JTG-Daugherty took to training in the off season. The results have been very positive. And noticeable. In a recent interview, Buescher mentioned the training, saying that he never wanted his physical condition to be the reason the team did not win. He did not want to be considered the “weak link”. Buescher has proven that he is 100% committed to the team and fans. Fortunately for the Nation, Buescher has seen quite a bit of TV time. I recently asked Buescher what he thought of all the TV exposure he has been getting and he was really quite humble about it. “TV time is a win overall for everyone. Kroger and all of our brands – Scott Products and Kimberly Clark Corporation, BUSH’S Beans, Kraft Heinz to name a few – have really jumped on board in a big way the past several years for myself and for our teammate. To be able to bring exposure to them for being great partners helps us win races and sell cases.”
I asked him if he had experienced that “Ah Ha” moment, where he had felt the hard work done in the off season had finally paid off, again the ever humble Buescher replied ““I’m really encouraged by what I’ve seen out of everyone at JTG Daugherty Racing up to this point this season. We’ve had a strong couple of weeks in our No. 37 Camaro ZL1, and a huge part of that is all of the hard work everyone on the road and at the shop has been putting in all season long. We’re three years into the making of this team, and you can really see the synergy among everyone at the shop. I don’t think there’s been a specific moment, but our goal this year was to run five spots higher on the track and in the points than we did last year. While a lot of our finishes haven’t told the story of our race, we’re definitely accomplishing that goal.”
Buescher came into the race at Sonoma with a fast car and a fondness for road racing. Buescher said ” “The finish at Sonoma Raceway in our Hellmann’s Camaro ZL1 was not what we were hoping for. I really enjoy road racing the few times a year we get to do it. I love how it breaks up our schedule, and I’ve found a niche in it from experience the past several years. Overall, we were able to get another top-20 finish and a solid points day out of it, so I can’t be too upset about that. Adding “We keep chipping away every week and continue to get better and we’ll be reaching our goals in no time.”
This week the team will be at Chicagoland Speedway. As usual, Buescher’s thought are positive and upbeat.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. The mile and a half program at JTG Daugherty Racing has really seemed to take off this season. Chicagoland is really similar to Kansas Speedway, a track where we scored a top-10 finish earlier this season. We’re also honoring a special guest of Maxwell House and The USO this weekend on our Maxwell House Camaro ZL1, and I really want to be able to get a good finish as a small token of appreciation for all they do for us and our freedom. I’m honored to have MSgt. Craig Thurman and his family at the track this weekend.”
Buescher fans will be waiting to see the results as well, in hopes of a second career MENCS stop in victory lane. They know its coming and they know it will be sweet. Just like a Texas rain at the end of a hot summer.