Buescher Earns Stage One Points, Finishes 18th in Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. (July 23, 2023) – Chris Buescher finished ninth in the opening stage of Sunday’s 400-mile race from Pocono Raceway, and was inside the top five with 50 to go, but several cautions throughout the day dominated the storylines, resulting in multiple strategies that would play out. Buescher went on to finish 18th in the Wyndham Rewards Ford.
In total, the yellow flag flew 11 times for 44 of the 160 laps, including five cautions alone within the first 50 laps. Buescher began the day from the 18th position following single-car qualifying on Saturday.
He and the No. 17 team employed an early strategy call out of the gate, remaining on the track through the opening stage to finish ninth in the opening 30-lap segment. At that point, Buescher took his Ford Mustang to pit road for the first time on the afternoon, later restarting 22nd in stage two.
From there, three different yellows were subsequently displayed – all on restarts – with the field eventually pulling it together for a restart at lap 50. That was the start of a 42-lap green-flag run, separated by the race’s first green-flag pit cycle of the day.
Buescher pitted at lap 77 from the eighth spot before the yellow came out at lap 92. By that point, the No. 17 had fought back to 12th, in a pause that would become the stage two break. Again, strategy came into play, this time with Buescher joining a handful of cars that remained on track.
He began the third stage in fifth at lap 99 and fought to fourth on the restart. The caution was displayed just six laps later, with the 17 again remaining on track. He held onto the top-five position for the next 10 laps, ultimately pitting under green again at lap 121.
Another green-flag pit cycle began with around 25 laps remaining in the race. Buescher pitted in that sequence with 21 to go. From there, a pair of yellows were displayed in the closing laps, with Buescher advancing from past the 20th position up to 18th by the checkered flag.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway for its second race weekend of 2023 next Sunday. Race coverage Sunday afternoon is set for 3 p.m. ET on USA Network, with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.