It wasn’t until Friday that Chris Buescher knew he was going to be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Auto Club Speedway.
But with Brian Vickers’ sudden withdrawal from competition because of a recurrence of blood clots, Brett Moffitt vacated the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports car to sub for Vickers, and Buescher was pressed into service as a last-minute replacement in the 34.
On an up-and-down day that saw him make good use of NASCAR’s wave-around rule (staying out under caution to regain a lost lap), the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR XFINITY Series regular finished 20th in his first Cup start.
“It was a lot of fun,” Buescher said. “I can’t thank Front Row Motorsports enough to give me this opportunity and for Roush Fenway Racing to allow me to go do it. To be able to help another Ford Performance team out, this was a blast. It’s the kind of race track I wanted to make my Cup debut at – some place that the pace falls off, the tires wear down and you’re able to really hustle it and race late into a run, and this was just that.
“We went through a lot of changes today, a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of confusion, too, on my side just trying to keep up with where we were at with the lucky dog and with wave-arounds. Green flag stops, everything moved so fast and I really had no clue where we were going to finish coming to the checkered.
“I didn’t know where we were at. I just knew I had to beat a couple guys around us and tried everything we could. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to everybody with Ford that allowed me to do it.”