Buescher, team ‘making really good progress’ over offseason
By John Haverlin
January 30, 2018
Despite being the 2015 XFINITY Series champion, Chris Buescher hasn’t had the ideal circumstances to make him a weekly contender in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Buescher, 25, raced with Front Row Motorsports in his rookie season. He did manage to squeak out a win in the weather-shortened Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway in 2016 and make the Playoffs.
It was Front Row’s second ever victory and first appearance in the postseason.
But the Ford-powered team isn’t one of the juggernauts of the series. Buescher had an average finish of 26th with the organization.
Last year, he joined JTG Daugherty Racing to compete in the team’s newly-formed second entry. He drove the No. 37 Chevrolet and was a teammate to A.J. Allmendinger, who’s piloted the No. 47 since 2013.
JTG has one win in the Cup Series, which came with Allmendinger at Watkins Glen International in 2014. The organization receives support from ECR Engines, but it’s still a mid-tier team compared to Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing.
Buescher and Allmendinger had average finishes of 21st and 22nd last year, respectively.
“At times last season, we didn’t have the performance that we wanted, and yes, that’s frustrating when we’re not running as well as we want to be,” Buescher said.
“You get used to running when you’re winning races in a different series. But at the same time, I had the same idea going from ARCA to XFINITY — we just won a championship there; it should be easy to go run top-five and win races right away.
“It’s just not the case. There’s a lot that goes into it to be able to win races, especially when you get to the top level.”
Buescher completed two XFINITY seasons with Roush Fenway Racing and earned three wins in that span. When he raced with Front Row, he was on loan from RFR. According to his RFR contract, he was still a Ford driver.
Now that he’s with JTG, a Chevy team, he’s no longer considered a Ford driver on loan. He plans to stay with JTG “for a little while.”
“We’ve got our deal set with JTG for several years now,” he said.
According to Jayski, he’s signed through the 2019 season. And since JTG purchased Furniture Row Racing’s No. 77 charter in the offseason, the team will likely stay with two full-time entries for years to come.
It also formed an alliance with Hendrick in November. The partnership will help JTG with its engineering and simulation data.
“I feel like we’re making really good progress through the offseason with JTG,” Buscher said. “Our alliance with Hendrick on the simulation and some of the aero development is very promising. … We feel like we’ve come a long way through 2017 and the offseason. “We should be able to be a lot more competitive than we were last season.”