By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
*Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season for 24 drivers. We will release one driver preview per day over a 24-day stretch.
Years in Cup: 1
Career Wins: 1
Biggest Accomplishment: 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship
Change in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage is a constant theme. One driver that is experiencing that change is Chris Buescher. 2017 will be the third year of change for the Roush Fenway Racing development driver.
In 2015, Buescher led Roush Fenway Racing to another NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship. In 2016, Buescher moved up to the Cup Series, where he competed in the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports while on loan from Roush.
The departure of veteran Greg Biffle from Roush Fenway looked as if it would allow Buescher to return home. However, a lack of sponsorship forced the third Roush Fenway to shutter its’ door for at least the 2017 season.
The circumstances forced Roush Fenway to loan Buescher and lease the charter from the No. 16 Ford Fusion for the 2017 season to JTG-Daugherty Racing.
In 2017 Buescher will pilot the No. 37 Chevrolet SS for the newly expanded JTG-Daugherty. As a crew chief, he will have Trent Owens on top of the pit box. Owens most recently worked as the crew chief for Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports. As of the posting of this preview, it appears that Kroger will be the primary sponsor of Buescher’s Chevrolet.
Buescher will also have a new teammate for the 2017 season as he joins AJ Allmendinger. In 2016 he had Landon Cassill as a teammate.
In 2016, Buescher’s performance was better than expected for his one year stint at Front Row Motorsports. He had two top fives and two Top 10s including an upset win at Pocono Raceway when the race was shortened by fog. Buescher followed up that win with a top five at Bristol Motor Speedway and a Chase berth.
Buescher ended his first season in NASCAR’s premier series with a 16th place finish in the points standings.
The future for Buescher will be an interesting one to watch as JTG-Daugherty expands for the first time. Another piece of Buescher’s future may already be seen past the 2017 season as he has already stated that, “(Jack) Roush has said the plan would be to get three teams started back again in 2018 and me go back there.”