NASCAR: Chris Buescher Takes Checkered Flag at Bristol Motor Speedway

by Dustin Schutte

It’s been quite some time, but Chris Buescher is finally back in NASCAR’s victory lane. The driver of the No. 17 car enjoyed one of the best runs of his career at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night, taking the checkered flag on an eventful evening.

Buescher’s win marked the first time since he’s claimed a victory since a win at Pocono in 2016. He had gone 222 races since last making the trip to victory lane.

Buescher held a sizable lead over Chase Elliott late in Stage 3 of the race, crossing the finish line nearly a half-second ahead of the No. 9 car. With the win, Buescher becomes the third driver not in the NASCAR playoff race to win in the last three events.

Bubba Wallace took the checkered flag last week at the Hollywood Casino 400. Two weeks ago, Erik Jones drove the No. 43 car to victory lane at the Cook Out Southern 500.

Saturday night’s victory marked the second of Buescher’s NASCAR Cup Series career. Elliott finished second, William Byron ended in third, Christopher Bell closed the race in fourth and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five finishers.

NASCAR’s Playoff Race Down to 12

Bristol marked the final race of the 16-driver field for NASCAR’s 2022 playoffs. Now, we’re down to 12 drivers still in the hunt for a championship.

Kyle Busch experienced engine failure on Lap 270 of Saturday night’s race, ending his Cup Series championship hopes prematurely. Austin Dillon also got knocked out of the race and out of playoff contention.

The other two drivers to miss the cut are Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick. NASCAR’s 12-driver field looks like this heading to Texas:

  1. Chase Elliott – 3,040 points
  2. Joey Logano – 3,025 points
  3. Ross Chastain – 3,020 points
  4. Kyle Larson – 3,019 points
  5. William Byron – 3,015 points
  6. Denny Hamlin – 3,013 points
  7. Christopher Bell – 3,013 points
  8. Ryan Blaney – 3,013 points
  9. Chase Briscoe – 3,009 points
  10. Alex Bowman – 3,007 points
  11. Daniel Suarez – 3,007 points
  12. Austin Cindric – 3,006 points

The Round of 12 tracks include Texas, Talladega and Charlotte.