Chris Buescher earned his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with help from horsepower and fuel mileage from Roush Yates Engines. Buescher, driving the number 60 Ford EcoBoost Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing, is the third rookie to find Victory Lane this year and the 14th different winner of 2014.
In the 90 lap race, Buescher last pitted on lap 52 during the fourth caution of the day. He claimed the lead with 24 laps to go and held off Regan Smith and Brian Scott to win the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 by just over 1.1 seconds.
“It was nerve-wracking,” said Buescher. “But this Ford Mustang was fast and we pulled right away – actually we were just cruising there at the end. It was cool to pull it off and have plenty of fuel left over for a good burnout.”
Buescher had a special guest in the pits cheering him on to the finish this week. 6-year-old Luke Benner, a leukemia patient from Mount Gilead, was serving as one of the 10 Patient Champions honored at the race. Luke’s name was on Buescher’s car in Victory Lane.
“It’s a really humbling experience and really cool to get our first win here under these circumstances,” said Buescher.
“The way the race played out helped us as well,” said Scott Graves, crew chief for the number 60 Ford Mustang. “When everybody did pit, we had a big enough lead and I think that allowed Chris to save a little bit more for a few laps.”
21-year-old Buescher has had eight top-10 finishes in 2014 and his first win comes during his 30th NASCAR Nationwide Series start.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. With 11 races remaining, the Fords of Trevor Bayne and Buescher are running sixth and seventh respectively in the championship standings.