Photo: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

2018 Cup Series Season Preview: Chris Buescher

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

* Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for the top-30 drivers in the series leading into next month’s 60th running of the Daytona 500.

Age: 25

Years in Cup: Three

Career Wins: One Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Victory, 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion

For the first time since 2015, Chris Buescher will not have to worry about getting accustomed to a new team. Buescher, who finished 25th in the points standings in 2017 for JTG-Daughtery Racing, will remain with the team for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. He finished the 2017 season with four top-10 finishes.

Earlier this week, it was reported by the Sports Business Journal that Kroger will be expanding its’ partnership and ‘Click List’ promotion with JTG-Daughtery, specifically on Buescher’s Camaro. His team will also see the return of Trent Owens and continued use of ECR Engines.

“We have some really good stuff for 2018,” Buescher explained when asked about his expectations. “I’m really happy to get everything squared away with JTG-Daughtery during the off-season and be ready to hit the ground running. It looks like the off-season is going to be busy for everybody. At the same time, we have some consistency, but we have to find a way to fire off in a better place. We have the new body (Camaro ZL1) coming along, so that will be awesome. We have some great partners coming back for next season. I feel like it’ll be a really good improvement for us, and I look forward to getting going.”

Despite the familiar team, Buescher will be driving a different car for the fourth year in a row. In 2015, he won the Xfinity Series Championship in a Ford Mustang. In 2016, he pulled off the upset, winning a rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway, and making the Playoffs in a Ford Fusion. Last year, he drove the No. 37 Kroger Click List Chevrolet SS, and this year, it’ll be a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The No. 37, which was using a leased charter from Roush Fenway Racing in 2017 will be locked in all year long in 2018. JTG-Daughtery Racing purchased the charter from the now-defunct No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team. This will move the team from 26th in Owner Points to 19th in Owner Points.

A new technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports started late in the 2017 season has shown promising results, including a top-10 finish for Buescher at Kansas Speedway. The expectations from this alliance, and for the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will likely leave Buescher primed for a big season.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.