Texas substitute driver report
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
Tony Stewart (14) leads Chris Buescher at Texas Motor Speedway.
Three interim drivers were among the 43 starters in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Below is a breakdown on how each fared.
No. 18 David Ragan
While David Ragan’s qualifying effort was the best among the three fill-in drivers, the 30th place starting position was the lowest in 2015 thus far for the driver.
Ragan, who ran inside the top-ten during the event, finished on the lead lap in 13th. Ragan has finished on the lead lap four consecutive races, a first since August 2013.
“Our overall race was really good considering where we started at,” he said post-race. “We didn’t have the best pit stall selection, we were having to drive around cars all night. [Crew chief] Adam Stevens and our Interstate Batteries team did a really nice job adjusting on our Camry and I felt like we had a chance at a certainly a top-ten or maybe even a top-five if the cautions would have fell right.”
Ragan’s 13th place effort was his highest finish at the speedway since a 12th place showing at TMS in November 2011.
Ragan will enter next Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway tenth in driver’s points, the first time since February 2009 the Unadilla, Georgia native holds a spot within the top-ten in points.
No. 34 Chris Buescher
In his third consecutive race with Front Row Motorsports, Xfinity Series regular Chris Buescher started Saturday night’s event 40th.
Buescher ran as high as 28th place, but fell a lap down during the race’s first green flag run. Buescher finished as the first car two laps down in 30th place.
According to an FRM press release, Buescher is expected back for at least two more races with the organization, piloting the No. 34 at Bristol next weekend at Bristol and Talladega Superspeedway in May.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway
No. 55 Brett Moffitt
Brett Moffitt’s race weekend featured his fourth race in Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 55 and third consecutive in Brian Vickers’ absence.
Moffitt started 36th, his lowest starting spot while in the No. 55. He ran as high as 26th in the event, but eventually finished 29th, one lap down in his first race at TMS. The result leaves the 22-year-old driver 30th in driver’s point standings entering next weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Moffitt was the highest finishing rookie in the race.
-The last time Ragan finished on the lead lap four consecutive times was in 2013 at Pocono (21st), Watkins Glen (21st), Michigan (24th) and Bristol (12th).
-Ragan was eighth in points leaving Auto Club Speedway in 2009, the second event of the season. It took Ragan 220 races, over six seasons, to be among the top-ten in points again.