Buescher to replace Stenhouse at Roush Fenway Racing in 2020
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and longtime team Roush Fenway Racing will part ways at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Stenhouse has driven the No. 17 for RFR since the 2013 season, winning twice. Both his victories came in the 2017 season at Daytona and Talladega, placing a career-best 13th in the championship standings.
Previously, he drove for RFR in the Xfinity Series and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. The 31-year-old has struggled this year with just one top-five and two top-tens, scored 23rd in the standings. His teammate Ryan Newman made the playoffs and is currently in a position to potentially advance into the Round of 12.
Earlier this year, Stenhouse and his sponsors signed an extension with the team through 2021, so Wednesday's news came as a surprise to many.
“We can’t say enough about Ricky and his contributions to Roush Fenway Racing,” said team co-owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush. “We’re proud to have been a part of Ricky’s development from ARCA to Xfinity and ultimately the Cup Series. He has served as a great representative to our partners, while helping to accumulate numerous accolades, wins and multiple championships on the racetrack. We wish him well as he enters the next chapter of his career.”
Buescher also has a history with Roush Fenway. Before moving up to the Cup level in 2016, he won the 2015 Xfinity Series championship behind the wheel of RFR's No. 60 car and rose through the ranks as a Roush Fenway Racing developmental driver.
“We are certainly excited to have Chris back in the fold at Roush Fenway Racing,” said Roush. “He has a long history with our organization and we’ve always been a big fan of Chris and his racing style. We have watched his progress with great interest over the last couple of seasons and we are looking forward to having him in the No. 17 as we continue to grow our program next season.”
Buescher has a single Cup Series victory, winning in his rookie season at Pocono when the race was shortened due to adverse weather conditions.
“We were in the final strokes of the contract when learning that Chris has gone in a different direction,” said Tad Geschickter, JTG Daugherty Racing team owner. “We appreciate all of the efforts from Chris through the past three seasons at JTG Daugherty Racing. When the dust settles, we will begin the process of searching for our next driver to fill the No. 37 seat for the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.”
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