By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
CONCORD, N.C. – After he wrecked his Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 early, Chris Buescher rebounded to earn a top-10 finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600.
Buescher had to climb through the field in his Kroger – Thrill of the Grill machine over the final 80 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He picked off car after car as he inched his way towards the top-10. With 50 laps to go, Buescher finally broke into the top-10.
However, Buescher bounced in and out of the top-10 with two cautions in the final 40 laps. The final caution with 10 laps to go presented the JTG-Daugherty Racing driver an opportunity to pick off more positions. Buescher was four-wide for 10th on the restart. As the chaos settled and the checkered waved, he found himself sixth.
Buescher laughed as he explained the chaotic final restart.
“It was wild, I need to watch the replay to understand what happened. I got run into probably three times, run into the fence, we were four wide, and nobody lifted. It was just what we expected these races to be like this year. It finally got hot and slick enough to have one of those nights tonight.”
Buescher’s night was a long one after he bounced off the wall early in the second stage. On lap 128, he cut a tire and bounced off the wall once again, bringing out the caution. As his team made repairs, Buescher fell one lap down. It wouldn’t be until lap 310 that the 26-year-old earned the free pass.
“What a great night for us,” Buescher said. “Our Kroger Thrill of the Grill Camaro ZL1 had great speed from the drop of the green. The second stage we just tried to get it up a little too high and I got up in the fence. I cut a tire down later and lost a lap. We knew we had speed still, but this group did a terrific job of repairing it.
“We worked really hard after practice making a lot of changes. It was just a great effort all around; the pit crew did a terrific job. We were able to come out there at the end and get an awesome finish. We have to keep improving a little bit, but it was a pretty awesome night.”
The sixth-place finish is the third top-10 for Buescher this season and his best finish of 2019. It is also his 11th top-10 finish of his career.
The top-10 finish moved Buescher from 23rd to 22nd in the championship standings. He is still 263-points behind points leaders Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Buescher is also just 53-points behind the cutoff for the playoffs currently held by Kyle Larson.