By: Sandi Argo
Photos used with permission, courtesy of JTG Daugherty Racing
The Monster Energy NASCAR Championship Series points race has been heating up in the waning weeks of the regular season. For the driver of the #37 Chevy Camaro ZL1, Chris Buescher, the season has been one filled with positives. Consistency has been a key for the team, not just “showing up” each week but finding themselves running with bigger teams and gathering points along the way. With 2 races left before the playoffs start, the Prosper, Texas native is sitting well in the top 20 standings. With names like Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace and Ricky Stenhouse Jr behind him (and even bigger names like 7 time Champion Jimmie Johnson only 2 spots ahead with just a 65 point difference) the 26 year old has been doing everything he can do to get into victory lane. Although he has yet to do so this season, there is absolutely nothing to feel down about. Taking an aggressive strategy approach has put the team up into top 15 (to even top 10 on a number of occasions) regularly, with a lot of on-air-time for the young gun. The Buescher Nation can always count on a 100% effort, and anyone watching will know the results do not show the whole story.
With each race, the team has learned how to compete against the bigger teams, piecing together a plan one race at a time. When asked about the “take away” from Michigan (where a shortage of fuel at the end of the race plagued many teams, including the #37) Buescher responded “I think the takeaway from that race is just that we’re continuing to be consistent in our race strategy and finishes. Trent Owens, the team and everyone at the shop are consistently bringing fast race cars to the track, and we’ve been able to drastically improve our running positions this season. That was a big goal at the beginning of the year, and it’s really encouraging to see that come to life and continue to build on it”.
Buescher is a Bristol guy. The thrill of steep banking, short track racing makes it the top choice of races Buescher looks forward to each season. Buescher says “This is absolutely my favorite race track, and the Bristol night race is one of my favorite races of the season. I love racing at Bristol. We’ve had some really good runs here in the past, but have had things out of our control that cause the finishes to not be where we were running. The atmosphere of the night race and the crowd and racing under the lights make it so much fun, and such a great place to be on Saturday night short track racing”. Although the result wasn’t where he had wanted to be, Buescher said “I love Bristol, but Saturday night was definitely not one of our better Bristol races. We were really decent in practice, and then somehow had a tight center corner that we weren’t anticipating, and got trapped two laps down. We needed a couple more cautions to be able to get back on the lead lap and race for track position. With that being said, a 17th place finish is still achieving our goals, so we’re not taking any setbacks as we head to Darlington, another track I love”. More on Darlington in our next chat, next week.
Just for fun, we tossed a few questions to Buescher that were a bit more out of the ordinary… always willing to play along, Buescher responded to the following:
Fun one, if you were told to swap jobs with a teammate (non driver) for one race…
- Who would you swap with (they’ll be driving the race car!) I would swap with our hauler driver, J.R. Hollar. “You can take the driver out of the car…”
- What job will you be doing?I would be driving the hauler with the race cars to the track.
- What track would you want the swap to happen? I think one of the coolest tracks we roll in to is Bristol. You can feel the NASCAR excitement in the air, and it’s amazing how they are able to drive the trucks into the track, down the banking and park them so close together in a small infield.
- Where would you predict them to finish? He’s more on the cautious side (protecting millions of dollars in equipment every week), so a short-track beat and bang race may not produce the best results.
And, of course, no chat with Buescher would be complete without pulling questions from the Bush’s Beans can!
From Carlotta Schmittgen of Clayton, NC
Hi Chris–Did you ever finish the 1955 classic truck rebuild you were working on in 2014?
“Still a work in progress! We’ve been moving and have a mountain of projects to finish, but this is definitely still on the list“. (And according to Buescher, there are no photos of it’s current condition!)
Rand Thompson, of Somerset Michigan asks…
The first time I saw you race was in ARCA at my home track of Toledo Speedway. You really seemed to take to the track there very well. Any particular memories stand out?
“I loved racing at Toledo Speedway. We always ran really well there, and were able to capture a few wins as well. It’s a short track, which I love, and it’s one of those tracks that is so different from any other track we race at. That really appeals to me, because I love tracks that break up our schedule of the normal 1.5-mile ovals. It’s hard to pick a favorite memory because I loved any race we got to run there!”
Tune in again as we cheer on Chris and crew at the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on September 1, from Darlington!