Chris Buescher capped off a masterful superspeedway performance at Talladega on Sunday afternoon by navigating a chaotic triple overtime to finish sixth in his No. 17 SUNNYD Ford Mustang, his third consecutive top ten run. The young driver led a career-high 15 laps in the race, which featured a track-record 13 cautions, and paced the field early to win the first stage of the event.
Buescher rolled off the grid 15th and maintained his position early as three cautions were displayed by lap 25. When the scheduled competition caution flag waved at lap 25, the driver was scored 18th with reports of good balance. The team elected to pit for four fresh tires and fuel and restarted 22nd with 30 laps to go in the stage. Buescher made quick work of driving through the field and was up to 13th by lap 41. With just 10 laps to go in the stage, Buescher charged to the front of the field before a wreck in the last lap of the stage ended the stage under caution, with the No. 17 in the lead position. The segment victory marked Buescher’s
The team visited pit road for four tires and fuel at the stage break and restarted third for the second stage of racing. A few laps later, the caution flag waved when Buescher was running second. The team decided against another trip to pit road and inherited the lead, which Buescher held for 15 laps until falling to second when the seventh caution flag of the race waved. The team took the opportunity to pit for fresh tires and fuel and restarted 16th on the bottom lane. Buescher got shuffled back as far as 18th but artfully avoided a huge wreck at lap 108. Buescher was scored 10th as the red flag was displayed for clean-up. Pit stops cycled through under caution, but the No. 17 team stayed out to gain valuable track position and took the green-white checkered flag in third to gain eight stage points.
The Prosper, Texas native drove his way down pit road to pit for four tires, tape and fuel. He told the SUNNYD team that he was happy with the balance of his Ford and didn’t want any handling adjustments. The driver restarted just outside of the top ten and was up to fifth by lap 130. At lap 141, Buescher tried to make a move to the inside line but was hung out to dry and fell backwards without drafting help. He patiently found a hole in the line of cars running single file on the wall and settled into the 19th position. The first of a series of caution flags waved with 40 to go and the team pitted for four more tires and fuel.
Restarting 12th with 37 to go, Buescher drove his way up to the front and was running sixth when the 12th caution flag of the race was displayed. Pit strategy was key for the No. 17 team as the team stayed out for the next cautions to restart third for the final overtime period. When the green flag waved, Buescher fought to avoid another wreck and ended up taking the checkered flag 6th in triple overtime. The finish marked Buescher’s ninth top-10 result of the season, and his third in a row after last weekend’s ninth-place finish at Las Vegas.
Buescher and the No. 17 team look to carry their momentum next weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Sunday, October 11 at 2:30 p.m. EST on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.