Jack Roush says Chris Buescher is ‘ready’ for a Sprint Cup ride
Thursday morning, Chris Buescher received a phone call from his father, who had questions about what Jack Roush had said about his son in an interview Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“How come you haven’t told me any of this?” he asked.
“Because I didn’t know any of this,” Chris responded.
“Well, you need to go listen to this.”
When Buescher did, he heard Roush, his Xfinity Series team owner, say he is “ready” for the Sprint Cup.
Roush said it would be “sooner, rather than later” when the 22-year-old leading the Xfinity points standings with 13 races left would be in a Sprint Cup ride full time.
“I stop short of saying it’s 2016, but there is a consideration, discussion going on about the prospect of getting him in a car,” Roush said told Sirius XM host Claire B. Lang. “If not one of my cars, one of the other Ford cars that would be competitive and competing in 2016. He may very well be in one of my Sprint Cup cars. It’s just a matter of sponsorship and business considerations.”
Buescher has spent time with one of those Ford teams this years, racing for Front Row Motorsports in six events, most recently a 37th Sunday at Watkins Glen International.
Currently, Roush has three drivers in the Sprint Cup Series with Greg Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Bayne is in his first full-time season, but Stenhouse is in his third year in Cup and has no wins and three top-five finishes in the No. 17.
In 2015, Buescher has two Xfinity wins and nine top-five finishes, in addition to his 2014 win at Mid-Ohio which he will attempt to defend this weekend.
“It’s interesting because we’ve honestly haven’t had very in-depth discussions towards next year at all,” Buescher said Thursday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM. “I’d love to know what our plan is going forward. I feel like it would be a lot of fun to be able to move up, but at the same time, I’m trying not to focus on next year yet.”
Buescher wants to focus on the final 13 races and his 24-point lead over Ty Dillon.
“It’s a very big deal that we’ve got going on right now,” Buescher said. “This could be huge for us, we need to make sure we stay focus and go win this championship on the Xfinity side. Then it would make the decision easier for the uppers (management) to make at the end of the year.”
In an April interview with NASCAR Talk at Texas Motor Speedway, Roush said Buescher winning a championship “would certainly grease the skids for him. He’s two to three years out at the very most.”
Roush then left open the possibility of fielding a fourth Sprint Cup car.
“We’ve got three Cup cars, so we got another open slot. The 99’s number is not being used right now, and I’d like to put it back on the race track,” Roush said, referring to the number used by Carl Edwards since 2004 before joining Joe Gibbs Racing this season. “We’ll let the 99 have a little air and then we’ll create an opportunity for it as well.”
When that opportunity presents itself, Buescher, a first-generation racer who started as a development driver for Roush in 2009, knows from experience the difficulties of transitioning to a new series after moving from ARCA to the Xfinity Series.
“It gets a little bit harder every time you move up,” Buescher said. “It’s been tough, because it has been a slow process for me to move up. 2013 was a tough year. I only got to run seven (Xfinity) races, but I learned a lot in those seven race and I got to learn it before I was running for any kind of points.”