The driver of the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford Mustang just kicked off his race weekend in style. Chris Buescher posted the fastest lap during qualifying and won the first Busch Light Pole of his Cup Series career.
Buescher went out second overall during the second round of qualifying and posted a lap time of 22.479 seconds at 160.149 mph. He then stood back and watched as a variety of big names attempted to beat his time. Denny Hamlin was the closest with a lap time of 22.536 seconds at 159.744 mph, which was fast enough to secure a spot on the front row next to Buescher.
“Hey everyone, it’s Chris Buescher here in Victory Lane. Just got our first pole with our Fastenal Ford Mustang,” Buescher said in a video for Twitter. “Still shaking a little bit. It’s a wild lap around Dover here. Really proud of everybody’s effort. Ready to go.”
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Buescher technically won the Busch Light Pole at Pocono Raceway during the 2021 season. However, he secured the spot at the front of the pack by virtue of finishing 20th overall in the Pocono Organics CBD 325 on June 26. NASCAR inverted the top-20 spots for the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 and put Buescher at the front of the pack.
This Pole Award Was Significant for RFK Racing
Winning the Busch Light Pole was historic for Buescher, but it was also very significant for RFK Racing. It was the 90th career pole in the organization’s history, and it was the first since Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s win at Talladega Superspeedway.
Adding to the significance is that this pole win was RFK Racing’s first non-superspeedway since the 2013 season. Carl Edwards, who drove the No. 99 at the time, won the pole at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3. It was his second of the season and the third overall for team owner Jack Roush.
The organization has won the pole at Dover Motor Speedway several times. This includes Roush’s first-ever Cup Series pole win, which Mark Martin posted during the 1988 season. Martin won the pole at Dover three more times (1989, 1997, 1998). Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle accounted for one pole win each at the Monster Mile.
This pole win was also the third in the Cup Series for crew chief Scott Graves. He previously worked with Stenhouse, who won the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2013, and Daniel Suarez, who captured the pole at Pocono Raceway in 2018.
Buescher Will Have To Capitalize at a Difficult Track
Winning the Busch Light Pole is only one part of the process. Now Buescher will have to take on the more difficult task of winning at Dover Motor Speedway, a track known for aggressive driving, high speeds, and major incidents.
Buescher has 11 starts at the Monster Mile in his Cup Series career with no top-10 finishes. However, he has performed consistently while posting an average finish of 22.3 and only failing to finish one of the races. Buescher’s best performance at the track is 14th, which he posted in 2020, but he will now try to surpass this after winning the pole.
Buescher has achieved success at the track in a different series. He made four starts at Dover during his Xfinity Series career, and he posted top-10 finishes in three of them. This includes a win during his championship season in 2015.