By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Pit strategy helped Chris Buescher score a top-10 finish in the Pure Michigan 400. Buescher was off-sequence throughout most of the race before finally finishing in sixth.
After staying out and catching a caution with 13 laps to go, Buescher found himself one of eight yet to pit. With just 14 drivers on the lead lap, crew chief Trent Owens’s strategy worked out. Buescher’s No. 37 Bush’s Grillin’ Beans Chevrolet SS was primed for a to-10 run.
The late-race pit strategy for the JTG-Daugherty Racing driver came after issues early in the race. A flat tire in Stage 1 forced Buescher to pit road and off sequence with the rest of the field. Somehow as green flag pit stops cycled through later in the stage, Buescher found himself the last driver on the lead lap.
Buescher explained his day with one word,
“Wild. We had a tire go down early and put us off sequence early on and this team did a good job today. They played the strategy right and worked hard. We had to fix the car. We had a hole in the nose at one point from debris through one of the crashes. Fought hard all day long, to be able to get to here right now, that is a really cool finish. Really proud of this team.”
This was the third top-10 of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for Buescher. This was Buescher’s fifth career top-10 finish in his 65th NASCAR Premier Series start.
The top-10 moved Buescher up to 25th in the points standings, 556 points behind points leader Martin Truex, Jr. He is also 277 points behind Matt Kenseth who holds the cutoff for the Playoffs.
Now Buescher, Owens, and the entire JTG-Daugherty Racing team will look to carry this momentum to Bristol Motor Speedway, the site of Buescher’s most recent top-five finish.