Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images via NASCAR

‘We Got Wrecked,’ Buescher Says After Incident with Reddick at Darlington

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

For the second week in a row, Chris Buescher had victory in sight only to have it snatched from his grasp.

In the waning laps of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington, Buescher had drove clear of his RFK Racing teammate Brad Keselowski and polesitter Tyler Reddick and it was his race to lose coming down the stretch.

Reddick, who had led the most laps on the day, clawed back the deficit between the two and looked to reclaim the lead with 10 laps to go.

Entering Turn 3, Reddick dove low, trying to get ahead of Buescher by enough space to pull off the slide job, but instead slid right up the track into Buescher’s door, putting him in the wall and damaging Reddick’s car enough to cause him to start dropping back almost immediately before retreating to pit road.

Buescher was able to keep the lead for only the next straightaway before his damage forced him to pit road, handing the lead over to Keselowski, who would go on to break a three-year winless streak.

As his teammate and team owner celebrated on the frontstretch, Buescher was fuming after the contact with Reddick that derailed his day, making a point to stomp down to Reddick’s car and give him a piece of his mind.

“What was that? I raced you clean!” Buescher could be seen saying on the broadcast before shoving Reddick and giving him a tongue lashing.

“I know, I fucked up. I’m sorry,” Reddick said in response.

“No shit!” Buescher shot back. “We have raced each other clean. What was that about?”

Reddick then tried to explain his side, which Buescher was having none of.

“As soon as I knew it wasn’t going to work, I tried to back out and I got you. The last thing I wanted to do was wreck your car. I could care less about mine. I’m sorry. I fucked up…I fucked up,” Reddick said.

“That doesn’t work for me,” Buescher responded. “We don’t have that [win] sticker on our door right now. You need to be better. I don’t have that sticker on my door. This means more. I need you to be better. We’ve raced each other just fine for so long.”

Buescher then turned his back to walk away as Reddick said “I know. I’m sorry, dude.”

After returning to their own corners, both drivers gave their side of the story as to what played out between the two.

“We got wrecked. That one is clear as day. Don’t need any cameras to tell us,” Buescher said.

“I don’t know what to say. We’ve raced each other clean through the years. Tried to be respectful about it and we get used up. It’s something that you know is not going to work. Just really pissed off about it right now.

“We certainly had a chance to win another one. Really proud to have that speed. Huge congratulations to Brad and the 6 bunch and Castrol on their win. That’s awesome, but I wanted it for our Fifth Third Bank group right here. Just feel like we got used up.

“He knows he messed up. He said it. But that doesn’t change anything for us. I told him he’s got a win sticker on the door and we’re still trying to find ours. We get used up like that and take away those opportunities. It’s tough.

“That’s two weeks in a row we’ve had a shot to win races. One I’m going to live in my head forever on what I would have done different and this one I need someone else to be more mature about it.”

Reddick to his credit took full accountability for the incident, noting that all of Buescher’s qualms with him afterwards were valid.

“Everything he said was accurate to be honest. He raced me respectfully, and I got really aggressive,” Reddick said.

“I completely understand where he is coming from. He was running the top, running his own race, running his own line to keep me at bay. I made a really aggressive move and was hoping I was going to clear him, when I realized, I wasn’t going to, I tried to check up to not slide up into him, but yeah, I wish I wouldn’t have done that.

“I completely understand why he is that mad. He did nothing wrong. Just trying to win the race, and to take myself out – that’s one thing – I can live with that, but just disappointed it played out the way that it did, and I took him out of the race as well. That was not the goal there.

“If I was going to go for it, I was hoping I was going to clear him. If I hit the wall, pop a tire – I take myself out, I can live with that – it’s tough to walk away knowing I used someone up, and took away their chance of winning the race, that has raced me really cleanly since he came in the Cup Series. Just have to work on that and try to make some better decisions going forward.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.