BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Chris Buescher has won half of his four careers NASCAR Cup Series victories during a superb nine-day streak of success.
Buescher won his second straight NASCAR Cup Series race by holding off points leader Martin Truex late in the FireKeepers 400 on Monday and he leaves with his best performances towards the end of the regular season.
“It’s definitely great timing as we head into the playoffs in a few weeks,” said Buescher, 30, who drove RFK Racing’s No. 17 Ford.
Buescher, who won last week at Richmond, led 52 of the 200 laps. With 12 laps remaining, Truex challenged him by going door-to-door before sparks were visible under his No. 19 Toyota and he passed out.
“I felt like we were a little bit better, but it’s really, really hard to pass the leader on equal tires,” Truex said.
Truex made a smart move in the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing to win Stage 2. Shortly after pitting, he rode high before dropping low to pass Daniel Suarez and finished second to take 57 points ahead of Denny Hamlin in the rankings.
“He was a rocket most of the day and the fact that Chris held him off is really impressive,” said Brad Keselowski, who was proud of his fourth-place finish as driver and victory as co-owner of RFK Racing.
Hamlin finished third, followed by Keselowski and Kyle Larson.
Buescher gave Ford its ninth consecutive victory at Michigan, extending the longest winning streak by a manufacturer at a track that has hosted Cup races since 1969.
“Being here in Ford’s backyard and doing this and having so many Ford people here with us, it’s a special weekend,” he said. “Here, we always have a little more on our shoulders. »
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THE the race was suspended on Sunday due to rain, which delayed the start and subsequently led to a red flag stoppage that lasted more than 19 hours before racing resumed under cloudy skies the next day.
Two of the best drivers were not present on Monday. Many fans who filled the stands and infield Sunday, giving the track one of its largest crowds in years, did not return to watch the end of the race.
William Byron and Kyle Busch, who have a total of seven victories this year, were eliminated from competition on the first day of the two-day race. Busch turned around and hit a wall after making side-by-side contact with Ryan Blaney at the start of the race and Byron hit a wall with no one around him shortly after Truex won the first stage.
“I put myself in a bad situation,” Busch said. “I really hate that I did that.”
Buescher became the first Cup driver to win back-to-back races since Byron scored victories at Las Vegas and Phoenix in March. He is the first RFK driver to achieve back-to-back victories since 2010, and the first to win multiple times per year for the organization since 2017.
“I like being an underdog and under the radar,” said Buescher crew chief Scott Graves. “But I also know that with a few wins, it’s hard to hide.”
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Chase Elliott lost control after just 34 laps on Sunday due to a tire failure.
“It was very early to have a flat tire like that,” the Hendrick Motorsports star said. “It was really weird. It’s disappointing, but not surprising. Add it to the list.
Elliott missed six Cup races due to a fractured left tibia he suffered in a snowboarding accident on March 3.
The 2020 Cup champion, winless this year, is No. 22 in points and will likely need to win one of the final three races of the regular season to earn a playoff spot.
The series moves to the Indianapolis Road Course – where Tyler Reddick won last year – for the Verizon 200 on Sunday.