The driver-owner of RFK Racing has just voiced major praise for Chris Buescher. Brad Keselowski called his teammate an “amazing” driver and said that he could win multiple Cup Series races like Trackhouse Racing‘s breakout driver, Ross Chastain.
“Chris is an amazing race car driver,” Keselowski told PRN’s Garage Pass. “If we get him in the equipment he needs to run up front, he’ll win races. Chris Buescher and Ross Chastain are so similar. Just a matter of getting them in the right equipment.”
Keselowski made the comments during the race weekend at Dover Motor Speedway. Buescher became a topic of conversation after he posted the fastest lap time in qualifying and captured the first Busch Light Pole of his career. He then followed up this effort by finishing eighth overall after leading 18 laps.
To Keselowski’s point, Chastain is no stranger to Cup Series competition. He has started 126 races at the top level of competition. However, there was a noticeable change in his performance when he moved to better equipment.
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The Florida native entered the 2021 season — his first with Chip Ganassi Racing — with 79 career starts and only one top-10 finish, which he secured during the 2019 Daytona 500. Once he teamed up with CGR, however, he posted a career-high eight top-10 finishes and the first three top-fives of his career.
Chastain has only improved upon these numbers while adjusting to the Gen 7 cars and working with Trackhouse Racing, which features numerous former CGR employees. He has already registered seven top-five finishes and the first two wins of his career in the first 11 races.
Buescher Had Made Positive Strides in 2022
The Texas native is only 11 races into his first season with Keselowski as his teammate, but he has made some positive strides. He has secured three top-10 finishes, putting him on pace to surpass his career-best of eight (2020, 2021), and he has qualified well.
With practice and qualifying sessions returning for the entire 2022 season, there are more opportunities for drivers to set themselves up for success. Buescher has taken advantage at multiple tracks with three starts inside of the top five.
Buescher kicked off his season by posting the fourth-fastest qualifying time at Daytona International Speedway. He repeated this feat at Martinsville Speedway and then captured the first Busch Light Pole of his career at Dover. Buescher also secured top-15 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt).
The season is only 11 races deep, but Buescher has an average starting position of 16.5. This is currently a career-best mark, but he will have to continue qualifying well in order to keep himself in the front half of the lineup each week. Though the equipment will be equally important as Keselowski noted.
Buescher Has a Previous Cup Series Win
The driver of the No. 17 has made 233 starts in his Cup Series career — 227 as a full-time driver. He hasn’t reached Victory Lane as the driver of the No. 17, but he has one previous win from his rookie season.
Buescher captured the 2016 Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway while driving for Front Row Motorsports. He took the No. 34 Ford to Victory Lane after leading 12 laps. However, this was anything but a normal race.
Rainfall first postponed the Cup Series race to Monday, August 1, something that also happened during Buescher’s 2022 trip to Dover Motor Speedway. The drivers were able to complete 138 laps, but the weather played a role once again.
Buescher jumped to the front of the pack after Kyle Larson headed down pit road for a green flag stop. Heavy fog then forced NASCAR to bring out the red flag. The drivers stood around for 80 minutes before officials declared the race official with 22 laps remaining. Buescher won his first career race, and he put himself in position for the playoffs.