Buescher and Bayne expected to benefit from senior leadership.
Roush Fenway Racing solidified its crew chief lineup for 2016 on Friday.
Team ources confirmed to Motorsport.com that veteran Bob Osborne will oversee Chris Buescher’s development during his Sprint Cup rookie season at Front Row Motorsports, piloting the No. 34.
Osborne, 41, returned to the pit box last season as Trevor Bayne’s crew chief following a three-year sabbatical due to health-related issues. The Penn State graduate enjoyed tremendous success with Carl Edwards. Together the pair posted 18 wins, 86 top-fives and 142 top-10 finishes and nearly won the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship.
Buescher, the current Xfinity Series champion, was expected to make the move to Cup with Scott Graves, who has since left the RFR for Joe Gibbs Racing. However, given Osborne’s experience at the Cup level as well as his 17 seasons with Roush, Buescher couldn’t ask for a better crew chief to ease him through the transition in his rookie season.
Matt Puccia, 38, will direct Bayne’s effort and the No. 6 team. Puccia joined Roush in 2004. His first stint as a Roush crew chief came two years later with Edwards in the truck series. He’s spent the last five seasons with Greg Biffle in Cup,
During Puccia’s tenure with Biffle the No. 16 Ford earned three wins, six poles, 24 top-fives and 54 top-10 finishes. The pair qualified for the Chase in three of the five seasons. Brian Pattie was recruited as Biffle’s crew chief towards the end of last season.
Initially, Puccia was potentially slated for the No. 6 Xfinity team with Darrell “Bubba” Wallace. However, the organization elected to stay the course with Seth Barbour who replaced Chad Norris in the crew chief role following the Watkins Glen race in August. Wallace, 22, finished seventh in the point standings in his first full season on the NXS tour.