RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski turned heads early in the 2022 Cup Series season with some strong comments about teammate Chris Buescher. The August 14 trip to Richmond Raceway only further proves that this praise was justified.
Buescher struggled during practice and qualifying on August 13, which led to him starting 18th overall in the field. He proceeded to make moves at the short track that put him in a position to potentially cause some chaos. He racked up seven points in Stage 2 and then finished third overall after battling winner Kevin Harvick for the lead late.
This third-place finish at Richmond Raceway was Buescher’s second top-five of the season. It was also the best finish for RFK Racing at a non-superspeedway or road course since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second overall at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, per Jayski’s Dustin Albino.
“Chris is an amazing race car driver,” Keselowski told PRN’s Garage Pass during the May trip to Dover Motor Speedway. “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.”
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Buescher Has Rebounded From Setbacks
The Texas native has turned in some strong runs during his first season working with Keselowski, especially has the entire organization has made strides. He has seven top-10 finishes, putting him one shy of his career-best from the 2021 and 2020 seasons. His two top-fives match his career-best numbers from three different seasons.
Buescher has shown speed and control during the 2022 season while fighting for strong finishes, but he has also showcased the ability to rebound from unexpected issues. This includes the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course when the No. 17 caught on fire. Buescher’s car was full of smoke, and he couldn’t see. He still recovered after falling two laps down and finished 10th overall.
“Honestly, for about three months now, I haven’t been able to wait to get to each and every race track,” Buescher told media members after his third-place finish at Richmond. “That’s where I feel like the company’s got to.
“I think that our results haven’t always shown it because we’ve had some freak deals. We’ve had… we’ve been making the highlight reel for all the wrong reasons. I’ve been upside down, on fire.”
Buescher Has Circled the Next Cup Series Race
There are only two races remaining in the regular season, and Buescher is in a must-win situation. The only way that he can reach the playoffs is if he wins either at Watkins Glen International or Daytona International Speedway, two tracks with the potential for chaos.
The next race on the schedule, Watkins Glen, is one that Buescher has circled. He has run very well at road courses in the Next Gen era, headlined by a runner-up at Sonoma Raceway. He also scored a sixth-place finish at Road America and a 10th-place finish at IMS. Now he has another road course waiting for him.
Buescher hasn’t scored a top-10 finish at Watkins Glen in his previous six starts. He has been close with an 11th-place finish in 2017 and a 13th-place finish in 2019. His first start at the track for RFK Racing was a 17th-place finish.
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