After sustaining damage from an incident at the final stage of racing, Chris Buescher and the No. 17 Fastenal Ford team fought back to a 20th-place finish on Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.
Buescher started the first of the weekend’s two races from the rear of the field after a pre-race inspection penalty. The driver made quick work, passing 14 cars in the opening laps and driving his way up to 24th. At the competition caution, the team elected to pit for four tires and fuel. Buescher restarted 32nd and worked his way back up to 24th, reporting that his No.17 machine needed rear security. The team finished the stage in 27th.
Buescher and the team pitted during the stage break for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. The team restarted 24th and with the implementation of the choose cone rule, chose the bottom lane. The driver toggled between 23rd and 24th during the caution free stage. The team took the green-white-checkered flag for stage two in 23rd.
The Prosper, Texas native pitted for tires, fuel and a few adjustments at the stage break. The team restarted 26th, but was involved in a caution flag not long after the green flag waved. The damage bent the nose of the No. 17 Ford Mustang in and the team came down pit road at Lap 95 to assess and fix as best they could. Buescher restarted 27th, but elected to pit at a caution six laps later for fuel, tires, an air pressure adjustment and to reinforce the tape on the nose of the car. Back on track, the team stayed steady in between the 27th and 28th positions until a caution flag waved with 26 laps to go. The team went down pit road for tires, fuel and to tighten up the car’s handling. After restarting 29th with 18 to go, the driver gained two positions when another caution flag waved four laps later. The team already on their last set of tires, elected to stay out and restarted 22nd. A caution flag waved with five to go and shortly after, the red flag was displayed to clean up fluid on the track. It all came down to a three-lap shootout. When the green flag waved, Buescher restarted 26th but gained a spot when the final caution of the race came out. The driver restarted 21st and gained another position to take the checkered flag in 20th.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to action at Michigan International Raceway tomorrow, Sunday, August 9 at 4:30 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.