Chris Buescher continued his roll at Michigan International Speedway with his NASCAR Cup Series second victory in a row, as he came to the line leading the field Monday, Aug. 7.
It marks RFK Racing’s first victory at Michigan in 10 years and the first back-to-back win for the No. 17 car in the series since 2009 with Matt Kenseth.
The win comes after a weather postponement and a multitude of caution laps run on both Sunday (Aug. 6) and Monday.
Marty Snider of USA Network asked Buescher in his post-race interview, “Brad said earlier this week that’s the next step, multi wins. But did you honestly expect it to come this weekend?”
His response was simply: “Yeah, yeah, that was our plan right? That’s what we come to do every weekend.”
Buescher managed to keep the lead despite a hard-charging Martin Truex Jr., who won both of the first two stages.
Truex managed to make good pace on Buescher following green flag pit stops coming to the end of the final stage, but the No. 19 got loose after a full lap of near-continuous side drafting.
With five laps to go, Truex caught up to the back bumper of the No. 17 and was within a car length coming to the end of the race. But Buescher was able to remain clean and confident, enabling himself to grab the victory.
“[We made] some really good changes,” Buescher said. “Got this Mustang at a good place to win here at Michigan, for Ford, for Jack [Roush, co-owner], Brad’s home track. It’s everybody’s home track at our team but me, so it’s a cool victory here.”
Behind Truex, Denny Hamlin finished third after coming back from stalling his car on pit road in stage two.
Michigan native Brad Keselowski put both RFK cars in the top five after coming up through the field, coming home fourth.
“We’re letting our results speak for themselves and Chris has done a heck of a job driving the car,” Keselowski said. “When you can win it feels really good, but we’ve got to keep some humbleness and keep our head down. There’s some great competition out here.”
Finishing fifth was Kyle Larson, the only Hendrick Motorsports car to finish the race after crashes and problems plagued the team’s other entries.
These problems were not unique to the Hendrick cars, as the entire field suffered from tire failures and mistakes that brought out an abundance of cautions throughout both days of racing.
After accumulating key stage points, Bubba Wallace is now firmly in the playoffs and Ty Gibbs is now above the cut line after an 11th-place finish as Michael McDowell finished 24th after suffering from damage to his front clip.
Daniel Suárez managed to close the gap with a sixth-place finish and is now only five points out of the cut line, while Alex Bowman has fallen to 44 points out due to a result of 33rd, falling victim to the Hendrick cars’ Michigan misfortunes.
Meanwhile, in the regular season points battle, Truex solidifies his lead, while William Byron now sits in third after a DNF in 35th, which has allowed Hamlin to take the second spot.
The series returns to action this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Sunday, Aug. 13. Action kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET via NBC.
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