Some of the top NASCAR Cup Series drivers will take part in a Next Gen test at the Charlotte Roval on October 11-12. Roush Fenway Racing will be among the group, and the organization has set the stage by revealing Chris Buescher‘s Next Gen No. 17 Ford Mustang.
The team tweeted out multiple photos of the stock car on Wednesday, October 6, showing off the No. 17 with the Fifth Third Bank sponsor scheme. The design featured the numbers at the front of the doors, the single-lug wheels, and the revamped body that more closely resembles Ford Mustangs that are available in showrooms around the country.
The design automatically created numerous conversations on social media. Several fans expressed excitement about the new body style and how the lack of a spoiler was a great design choice. Others, however, continued to argue about NASCAR moving the numbers forward to provide more space for sponsors in 2022.
According to FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass, there should be more than 20 drivers in attendance. The list includes Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Cole Custer, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick, Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Justin Haley, Erik Jones, Cody Ware, Ty Dillon, and Timmy Hill. Boris Said could also make an appearance while working alongside Hill.
Buescher Is Fresh off a Season-Best Finish at Talladega
The driver of the No. 17 will head to the Charlotte Roval for the test just over a week removed from turning in a season-best finish at Talladega Superspeedway. Buescher locked up a sixth-place finish in the rain-shortened race, his sixth top-10 of the season.
The driver of the No. 17 started the day 24th overall while the playoff drivers lined up in the first six rows. However, he did not remain near the middle of the pack for very long. Buescher worked his way to 17th overall before the competition caution on Lap 27. He then continued moving through the field, taking the lead prior to the stage-ending wreck involving Kyle Larson, Justin Allgaier, William Byron, and Chase Briscoe.
Buescher continued to race near the front of the pack for the remaining laps. Though none of the drivers reached the end of Stage 2 due to a late wreck, as well as the approaching rain. NASCAR flew the caution flag on Lap 117 for a four-car incident, bringing the race to a halt with Buescher in the sixth position. Once the rain began falling once again, NASCAR called the race complete, declaring Bubba Wallace the winner and cementing Buescher’s season-best finish.
Buescher’s Remaining Schedule Will Feature a New Crew Chief
When Buescher heads to the Charlotte Roval on Sunday, October 10, for the Bank of America Roval 400, he will join forces with a different crew chief. He will work alongside Scott Graves.
Roush Fenway Racing’s change will put Graves and Buescher together for the first time in the Cup Series, but they have considerable success together at the Xfinity Series level. The two men combined for three wins in 2014 and 2015, as well as the 2015 championship.
While Graves heads over to the No. 17 team, Luke Lambert will reunite with Ryan Newman. He and the driver of the No. 6 previously worked together at Richard Childress Racing from 2014 until 2018, resulting in one win and a spot in the 2014 championship race.