After leading 10 laps late in stage two of racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Chris Buescher drove his No. 17 SunnyD Ford to his eighth top-10 finish of the season Sunday evening taking the checkered flag in ninth. The run marked Buescher’s second straight top-10 finish.
Buescher rolled off the grid 16th but got shuffled back to 23rd when the competition caution flag waved at lap 25. The team came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to hit the track and restart 20th. Unfortunately, the adjustments weren’t in the right direction as the driver couldn’t hold on to his track position. With reports of a tight No. 17 Ford on the bumps and in traffic, by lap 56 the driver was scored 28th. Buescher was able to gain one spot in the closing laps of the stage, taking the green-white checkered flag in 27th.
The team visited pit road at the stage break for an air pressure adjustment, fuel and tires. After a quick stop, Buescher restarted 25th for the second stage of racing out west. The adjustments proved successful, as the team was able to move through the field with ease. At lap 107, the team began running seventh-place lap times. When green flag pit stops began to cycle through, Buescher and crew chief Luke Lambert rolled the dice and stayed out on track. As a result, the No. 17 team took the lead and led 10 laps late in the stage before pitting at lap 144. Buescher ultimately finished stage two 22nd and one lap down.
After pitting late in stage two, the team stayed on track to take the wave around and gain their lap back at the stage break. Buescher restarted 22nd and held track position for the first part of the stage until a caution flag for debris waved at lap 189. The team elected to pit for a track bar adjustment, air pressure adjustment, fuel and fresh tires. After restarting 23rd the team powered through the field quickly, racing their way up to 19th with 64 laps to go. Buescher was up to third as green flag pit stops cycled through. A caution at lap 235 worked to the team’s advantage as the team was able to pit on the lead lap for fuel and tires to restart fourth.
When the green flag waved with 25 to go, Buescher fell back a few positions but still held strong within the top-five. At lap 249 another caution flag waved for a spin on track. Scored fifth, the team chose to stay out for track position. After restarting fifth with 12 to go, Buescher held track position enough to stay inside the top-10 even after getting shuffled back to seventh. A late caution flag waved with seven to go and the team elected to stay on track for track position. The race came down to a three-lap shootout at the end, with Buescher restarting seventh. The driver got shuffled back to ninth, but held strong to take the checkered flag ninth at Las Vegas. The finish marked Buescher’s eighth top-10 result of the season, his second in a row after last weekend’s seventh-place finish at Bristol.
Buescher and the No. 17 SUNNYD team return to track next weekend for the second race of the #SUNNYDouble at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 4 at 2 p.m. EST on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.