Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fifth Third Bank team battled feverishly to the checkered flag in Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Buescher patiently bided his time for much of the 400-mile race, before making a powerful run to the front of the field during the waning laps. He placed his Ford in position to win late, reaching as high as third position with a handful of laps remaining.
Buescher survived close calls in a pair of multiple car accidents in the final eight laps and restarted third with just five laps left in regulation. After being shuffled back on the final restart, Buescher regrouped, maneuvered through heavy traffic and made one final charge before the checkered flag fell on the 160-lap event; ultimately bringing his Ford home in the ninth position.
Buescher started the race 17th and settled into the mid-20’s for much of the race’s early laps, ending Stage 1 in 24th position. By the end of Stage 2 he had worked his Fifth Third Bank machine up to 14th. Running 17th when the field went green after caution ln lap 147, Buescher mounted his run to the front and had reached third when the first the two ‘big’ wrecks occurred on lap 152. After getting shuffled, he was running 16th when the final caution occurred on lap 158 and powered back to the top-10 finish during a frenzied green-white-checkered overtime finish.
Buescher and the Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway next weekend. The race next Sunday night is set for 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The race can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.