Falling temperatures on a brisk fall day at Kansas Speedway threw a curveball to teams preparing for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 with no practice or qualifying sessions. Chris Buescher and his team worked to adapt to the difficult conditions, ultimately bringing home a 21st-place finish for the No. 17 Fastenal Mustang.
Buescher began the event from that same 21st position and spent the early portion of the race feeling out changing handling conditions with a colder than expected temperatures at the track. With other teams in the field doing the same there was little passing in the first stage of the race, which Buescher finished in the 23rd spot.
The second stage introduced differing pit strategies to the equation, with crew chief Luke Lambert electing to pit early in the cycle to take advantage of fresher tires. Just a few laps after the No. 17 Fastenal Ford hit pit road, a caution came out with Buescher two laps down to the lead cars who had not pitted yet. He was able to get one of the laps back by waving around during the caution, and furiously battled at the end of the stage to finish in the free pass position. He would be scored 27th at the end of the second segment, but earned his way back onto the lead lap for the third and final stage.
The team was able to dial in the handling of the Fastenal Ford during the stage break, and Buescher began to move forward through the field. He worked his way to 19th with less than 50 laps remaining, but an incident just in front forced him to hit the brakes and lose positions. Buescher was able to battle back from the interruption and finish the day 21st.
Buescher and the No. 17 team return to the track next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Race coverage on Sunday begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.