Chris Buescher breaks through to score first Nationwide win
Roush-Fenway Racing's Chris Buescher took the victory in today's race at Mid-Ohio.
The No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Chris Buescher may have practically been running on fumes in the final lap of the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 NASCAR Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio, but what fuel he did have in the tank was enough to get him to the checkered flag and carry him to his first-career Nationwide win.
"That was incredible," Buescher exclaimed. I can't believe this is happening at this point."
The win was also the first of the season for Roush Fenway Racing.
The No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Regan Smith was second, the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brian Scott third, the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott fourth, and the No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Alex Tagliani rounded out the top-five.
Just coasting, knowing that we had a big shortage to make up
Chris Buescher on saving fuel late
The No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Justin Marks was sixth, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Elliott Sadler finished seventh, Kwasniewski was eighth, Bayne ninth, and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Dakoda Armstrong finished 10th.
The fight to the finish
Buescher inherited the race lead when the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brendan Gaughan gave up the position to pit on lap 66 of the 90-lap race. With his team thinking enough fuel had been saved during a couple of lengthy cautions, Buescher stayed out the remaining distance and maintained the lead for the remaining laps and through an additional restart in the final 20 laps to take the win.
"Just coasting, knowing that we had a big shortage to make up," Buescher said.
Early domination by Scott and Hornish
Scott dominated the race early, leading every lap until the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Sam Hornish Jr. took the lead on a restart on lap 32. Scott retook the lead on the next restart that followed a lap 42 caution, and Hornish continued on in second until he headed to the garage with smoke billowing out of his car when a yellow flag waved around lap 50. Up to that point, hadn't been scored lower than third in the running order.
The front-runners, Scott included, pitted under the caution while six cars, including the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Trevor Bayne and the No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Dylan Kwasniewski stayed out to restart in the top-two spots.
When the race restarted, Gaughan quickly moved up to second and then to the lead when Bayne made a green-flag stop. Gaughan continued on up front until pitting and giving up the lead to Buescher.
Scott vs. Tagliani
Scott worked his way back toward the front and battled Tagliani on the way.
"He kinda dive-bombed me, wich is fine," Scott said. "I gave him room, but he drove me int the dirt and continued to drive me in the dirt."
But as far as Tagliani was concerned, it was just racing.
"Just a racing incident," Tagliani said. "Sorry to him."
Scott made his way to a battle with Smith for second position with four laps remaining, but Smith, who thought he was down a cylinder a few laps prior, held on to the spot.
"When I first came off pit road, I thought it was a cylinder, the way it felt," Smith said.
Thirteen points separate top four entering Mid-Ohio
Hornish unsure of 2015 plans
About this article
|Location||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
|Drivers||Alex Tagliani , Trevor Bayne , Richard Petty , Brendan Gaughan , Justin Marks , Regan Smith , Scott Turner , Elliott Sadler , Brian Scott , Dakoda Armstrong , Sam Hornish Jr. , Chris Buescher , Dylan Kwasniewski , Chase Elliott|
|Teams||Team Penske , Richard Childress Racing , Richard Petty Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , JR Motorsports|
|Article type||Race report|