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NASCAR Cup North Wilkesboro

Buescher 'pumped' for Coke 600 after recent run of near-wins

Only winning pays the biggest dividend in the NASCAR All-Star Race but Chris Buescher believes he still gained something valuable from his third-place finish.

Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal Ford Mustang

Buescher never led a lap in Sunday night’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway, but he was running his best when it mattered most – in the closing laps of the race and $1 million on the line.

With the heat races canceled by rain, Buescher lined up fifth in the main event and within the first 50 laps had moved into second behind eventual winner Joey Logano.

When some mixed pit strategies put him further back in the field, Buescher’s No. 17 RFK Racing Ford excelled on the long run to end the race and ran down Kyle Larson to take third – his best finish ever in the event.

“I’m really proud of our team,” he said. “Friday (practice) wasn’t very good to be straight up about it and they worked really hard and pulled some strings, hit some buttons and got us a whole lot better for (the race), so I was proud of that to bring our (car) home third.

“I felt like we had a decent shot at it there. I was able to pace [Logano] pretty good, but there at the end just took too long to get around [Larson] and really didn’t have sight of the leaders at that point.

“It was a good night on a night where only one position matters. I’m proud of the group.”

Buescher came into the All-Star weekend coming off perhaps his best two races of the year, although his finishes may not show it.

Right on the edge of Victory Lane

He lost in a photo finish to Larson at Kansas and then was in position to win late in the race a week later at Darlington but got wrecked while battling Tyler Reddick for the lead. His teammate Brad Keselowski went on to win the race.

RFK Racing, and Buescher in particular, have put in some of the most consistent runs in the series over the last few weeks.

Buescher sees this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as an excellent opportunity to continue his strong performance or even capture his first win of the 2024 season.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Castrol Edge Ford Mustang finish

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Castrol Edge Ford Mustang finish

Photo by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images

“I’m pumped for it. That’s a track that was really good for us last year,” Buescher said of CMS. “We led laps and got a stage win at a time of the year where we hadn’t hit our stride, so that speaks volumes for us going into it.

“Momentum is just a product of running good and being on our game and our team has done a fantastic job. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of them. I wanted two more (spots in the All-Star Race), but it is a heck of a way to lead us right into the 600 next weekend.”

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