Race Weekend Central

Chris Buescher Gets 1st Win of Season at Richmond

Chris Buescher won his third career NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway Sunday (July 30), after leading a total of 88 laps.

He achieved his achieved his second win with RFK Racing, both coming at short tracks.

“We’ve had this one circled since last fall,” Buescher said post-race. “I was really hopeful this could be the one that turned the page for us, and sure enough right off the truck, I thought it was.

“You don’t have to ask me about points anymore.”

Last week’s winner at Pocono Raceway, Denny Hamlin, finished second at his home track.

Kyle Busch recovered after falling to the end of the top 10 during the race, finishing third.

Joey Logano made a great move on the final restart to earn himself a finish of fourth, and Ryan Preece earned his third career top five and his best finish of the season in fifth.

Race-winning owner Brad Keselowski finished sixth, while Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10.

Polesitter Tyler Reddick put together a clean sweep of the first stage, holding off a challenge early on from Hamlin to lead every lap en route to a stage one victory.

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Reddick led a 1-2 stage finish for 23XI Racing, with Bubba Wallace finishing second. Hamlin finished the stage in third to make it a Toyota trifecta in the first stage.

On the restart of stage two, Wallace passed his teammate for the lead while Keselowski made a charge on pit road and on the restart, getting his No. 6 Ford Mustang to third.

When green-flag pit stops commenced in stage two, Almirola, who had made his way into the top five after starting 24th, got caught for a commitment line violation, which placed him set him back to the back of the lead lap.

Michael McDowell led the race for a moment as he made a strategy call electing to do one stop during the stage.

On the second round of green flag stops at lap 173, Wallace’s crew was slow on the right side after the jack dropped before the right-side tires were tight, which lost him the lead to Keselowski.

Keselowski went on to win stage two while teammate Buescher followed to a 1-2 finish in the stage. 23XI’s Reddick and Wallace ended the stage third and fourth while Hamlin, who stretched his tires a little longer than the rest of the drivers in the top five, finished fifth in stage two.

Keselowski held off the field on the stage three restart. The two RFK drivers stayed nose-to-tail pulling away from the rest of the field.

On lap 285 on the first cycle of green flag stops in the final stage, Keselowski pit at a sharp angle, causing a long stop. He slid back to seventh after pit stops cycled out.

Truex, who was among the drivers who used the one-stop strategy, assumed the lead until lap 304 when Buescher took the lead of the race

On the final round of green flag pit stops, Reddick, who was running second before stops, committed a commitment line violation.

After the final cycle, Buescher controlled the lead of the race.

It seemed there would be no natural caution in the race until 10 laps to go, when Daniel Suarez got spun off turn 4 after contact with Noah Gragson.

The race restarted with three laps to go with Buescher on the inside and Hamlin on the outside. Buescher beat Hamlin on the restart and pulled away.

The playoff bubble had a slight shift after the action at Richmond. McDowell left Richmond with an 18-point gap to a new driver in 17th in points: Ty Gibbs. AJ Allmendinger slid to 22 points behind the cutoff. After his spin, Suarez dipped to 19th and 34 points back, and Chase Elliott gained 16 points on McDowell, 40 points behind with four races remaining in the regular season.

Richmond Cup Results

The series returns next weekend at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 6, with TV coverage on USA Network at 2:30 p.m. ET.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.

Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime

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Echo

Good win for him and RFK. Those Gibbs cars have figured out something haven’t they.

DoninAjax

If they replaced one of their drivers they would be even tougher to beat, especially on long runs.

TiminPayson

Oh, tell us who, please.

Echo

I know, I know

DoninAjax

I wonder who told the 42 to spin out a car to bring out a caution with 10 laps left? Anyone who didn’t expect a caution at the end hasn’t been watching since 2004 especially if a Ford is leading.

Echo

I was waiting for it lol wait for it, wait for it, bingo.

DoninAjax

I was expecting it to be the 78 since he was about six laps down so he must have been running really hard and the car couldn’t take the speed anymore. He’ll qualify last again at the next example of Brian’s product. It’s not like the car hasn’t done it before, no matter who is holding the steering wheel.

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