Chris Buescher talks teammate troubles and road courses
It’s been a high-stung season for Roush Fenway Racing.
In the Sprint Cup Series the organization has struggled to keep up with competitors, but in the Xfinity Series it has won three times and Chris Buescher leads the points entering this weekend at Watkins Glen International.
But the last few races have been rough for the second-year driver, who hasn’t finished in the top 10 since the June 21 Chicagoland event, five races ago. Buescher was involved in a wreck with teammate Darrell Wallace Jr., which resulted in a 13th-place finish last weekend at Iowa Speedway.
It was at least the second time this year the teammates have gotten into each other on the track. The first came at Dover when Buescher bounced off Wallace while passing for the lead and the eventual win.
The two met during the week to discuss any issues they had with each other.
“We’ve been able to show up competitively to a lot of these racetracks and our teammates have done the same,” Buescher said Friday at Watkins Glen International. “We’ve been racing around each other a lot and it’s tough, but we’ve got it handled and we’re looking forward to getting into this stretch.”
After the team meeting, Buescher said: “We have it to the point where we’re going to be able to race around each other and not have to worry about anything.”
Buescher has a potential championship to worry about. He has a 20-point lead on defending champion Chase Elliott. Wallace is 81 points back in sixth.
The Xfinity Series’ season enters an interesting four-race stretch with three road-course races at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America broken up by the short track of Bristol Motor Speedway.
Road courses are not part of Buescher’s background, but he enjoys them. He surprised himself last year when he won his first Xfinity race at Mid-Ohio.
“We get to learn a lot. We have different people come in that are road racing experts that teach us a lot as we go,” Buescher said. “We try and do some kind of school or training beforehand to try and get back in a rhythm and it helps. This three in a row is tough because we only have so many road race cars.”
Buescher says teams will have three primary cars for the road courses, but just one back-up.
“It’s tough to build up that kind of inventory for everybody, and make sure that if you do have to go to a back-up in one of the first two, then you have to realize that also puts you at a shortage for the last race,” Buescher explained. “I like the fact that we’re able to get in a rhythm, stay in it, and try to learn a lot really quickly. I don’t know that it would be better to have (the road courses) spread out through a six-month period and have to change pace and start over every time.”
Also, Buescher will be pulling double-duty this weekend, running in the Sprint Cup race in the No. 34 for Front Row Motorsports.