Buescher Leads Laps, Finishes 15th in Rain-Shortened Atlanta Race
HAMPTON, Ga. (July 9, 2023) – Chris Buescher led the second-most laps of any car and was poised for a solid finish in Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but inclement weather forced the race to end early with the Fastenal Ford ultimately finishing 15th.
The threat of rain and late-race fuel strategy made all the difference as the race was shortened to 185 laps when everything settled. After finishing the fairly calm opening stage in 22nd, Buescher began the second stage in fifth after a right-side tire only strategy in the preceding stage break.
He maintained the top-10 position from there throughout much of the remaining laps, as he inherited the lead under a yellow flag at lap 92 – one of seven overall cautions on the night. He held the lead for the 39 laps following, as teammate Brad Keselowski eventually worked his way to Buescher’s bumper, putting the RFK Ford Mustangs 1-2 for a series of laps.
After the No. 6 took the lead in the closing laps of stage two, Buescher settled in behind to finish third in the stage, before again taking right-side tires. He would restart 15th as the field from there turned into panic mode, chasing the threat of incoming rain.
A caution with 82 proved to be the last as rain ultimately moved in under the extended yellow, and forced a red flag before ending the race short at lap 185.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next, with race coverage next Sunday set for 2:30 p.m. ET on USA, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.