Chris Buescher ran a steady race Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway, driving his No. 17 Fastenal Mustang to a solid 16th-place finish in 400-mile event.
A strong qualifying effort on Saturday by the Prosper, Texas Native led to an 11th-place staring position for the race. A cold front blew through the area just prior to the race start, dramatically altering track temperature and even bringing a light rainfall. With the handling of the car altered from the weather, Buescher battled a tight handling condition on his Mustang and fell to the 20th position before the first round of green flag pit stops on lap 23, where he would finish the first stage of the race.
A quick pit stop from the Fastenal Racing team netted five spots and Buescher began the second stage from the 15th spot. He continued to lay down quick times, but the handling deteriorated again later in the stage. A strong effort in the closing laps of the stage saw Buescher net several positions and finish the segment 18th.
Buescher would begin the third and final segment of the race from the 16th position. Crew chief Luke Lambert attempted a strategy play, keeping the Ford on track longer than much of the competition during a long green flag run. After working up to the second position, Buescher came down pit road for the final time on lap 162. With no caution flags in the cards, he returned to the race 21st and continued to work his way forward through the field, ultimately finishing 16th.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to action next week at Phoenix Raceway (Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90).