Chris Buescher makes name for himself with second-place Nationwide showing at Talladega

Leave a comment

When NASCAR fans hear the surname “Buescher,” it’s likely that most think of James, who won the 2012 Camping World Truck Series and who is currently eighth in this year’s Nationwide Series standings.

But after a career-best finish of second-place in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 NNS race at Talladega Superspeedway, there’s another Buescher that fans should keep their eyes on: namely, Chris Buescher.

The younger cousin of James Buescher, Chris barely missed taking the checkered flag in Saturday’s race, finishing second to eventual winner Elliott Sadler.

“I’m still very new to this speedway racing, so to be able to pull off a second is really cool to me,” Buescher said. “Obviously, it’s a track that a lot of people will say there’s a lot of luck involved and I don’t doubt that one bit, but we worked very hard to go from eighth to last to back to second.”

Even though he was second, it was almost like a win for Buescher, who has had a mixed-bag of a season thus far in his rookie NNS season with Roush Fenway Racing.

In addition to Saturday being his first NNS career top-five and third third top-10 in 2014, he also has had his struggles, like 27th at Texas and a season-worst 34th at Darlington.

“Obviously, when things happen that aren’t your fault it’s hard on everybody and you sit and think about what could have been,” Buescher said. “With the beginning of the season and the way it played out, we’re not really in a points Chase, so we sat down after Darlington and said, ‘You know what, it’s time to go try and win some races.’ And I think that mindset is gonna help us going forward.”

Buescher came into Talladega after a prior career-best finish of seventh last week at Richmond. Now, with back-to-back new career bests, he can’t wait to see what he can do in the next NNS race in two weeks at Iowa Speedway.

A win perhaps for the native of Prosper, Texas?

“I think this will be really big for us.,” Buescher said. “We’ve been running in a position to be able to do this, we just haven’t been able to finish all of our races like this. It’s cool to be able to get that momentum and keep it rolling.”

While many fans point to cousin James’ success, Chris has also had his share of success. In the same season that James won the NCWTS championship (2012), Chris won the ARCA championship.

His finishes at Richmond and Talladega will definitely help his and the team’s confidence and motivation going forward, although he lamented that next weekend is an off-weekend until Iowa on March 18.

“I don’t know if I really want this off-weekend at this point,” he said. “I want to keep going, but Iowa is a really cool race track and anything we can take from here may just be the fact that we have momentum on our side.

“We’re capable of running this well. Richmond was some place that was halfway similar to Iowa, where you can take some notes and move them over. With our run there, I think we should be able to show up in Iowa and have a really solid run.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

WATCH LIVE: ABC Supply 500 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

The Verizon IndyCar Series’ run of different types of tracks continues with today’s ABC Supply 500 from Pocono Raceway, as the final superspeedway race of the year to kick off the final four-race stretch of the 2017 season comes after a July where the series raced once apiece on a short oval, a street course and permanent road course.

You can watch the 200-lap, 500-mile race from Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. live on NBCSN (stream link here); the series is back live on NBCSN for the duration of the season after the last two races were live on CNBC, with an NBCSN same day encore.

Kevin Lee is on the call from Pocono along with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy, with Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Anders Krohn and Robin Miller in the pits.

IndyCar coverage will run from 2 through 6 p.m. ET.

After qualifying, here’s some of the questions to consider in Pocono:

  • How will the championship picture shake out after today’s race?
  • Might a new or surprise winner enter the mix?
  • Can Honda get back to winning and stop Team Penske and Chevrolet’s three-race win streak?
  • How might temperature, wind and downforce levels change the game?

My colleague Kyle Lavigne is on site in Pocono this weekend and may have some additional thoughts going into today’s race.


Tanak wins Rally Germany, Ogier retakes WRC points lead

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ott Tänak flew to his second victory of the FIA World Rally Championship season in Germany on Sunday as Sebastien Ogier moved back into the lead of the drivers’ standings with three rounds to go.

Tänak led from Friday through to the final power stage to give M-Sport Ford team victory, marking his first tarmac win alongside co-driver Martin Järveoja.

“It’s a great feeling. The start to the rally went perfectly, after that it was just about controlling our lead,” Tänak said.

“Winning our first tarmac event feels cool. With 25 points here I don’t see any reason why we can’t fight for the championship. We will keep fighting; we need to keep winning if we’re going to win the championship.”

Tänak sits 33 points back from Ogier, whose bid for a fifth straight title was boosted with a run to third in Germany as chief championship rival Thierry Neuville retired with suspension damage on Saturday.

Neuville is now 17 points off the lead, with the WRC now embarking on a six-week break before returning in Spain on October 6.

Rosberg opens up on post-F1 life, tech investment interests

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Anyone who follows Nico Rosberg on social media will know that he has been keeping very busy since retiring just five days after winning his maiden Formula 1 championship at the end of last year.

As well as announcing he is to become a father for a second time, Rosberg has been travelling plenty, notably spending a lot of time in the United States and, in particular, Silicon Valley last month.

Rosberg is considering study options at Stanford University, but has opened up more about his interests in technology and plans to invest in an interview with The Times.

“I recently got back from a trip to Silicon Valley. It was on my bucket list and it was really inspirational to see what happens there; I thought the mentality was fascinating,” Rosberg said.

“In our society, we look down on people who fail, whereas over there it’s normal to fail — it’s courageous. If you’re not scared of failing, you can get through to innovation.

“Over here, it’s very money, money, money, but over there people want to reach out to others, make their lives better and look after our planet, too.

“I’ve always been passionate about technology, and investment is of interest to me at this stage. Mobility is what I’m most interested in, because there’s been a huge disruption in that area and it’s going to change the health and future of our planet.

“It’s a fascinating time. I visited Uber and they’re working on their “network in the sky” already. They say that in the space of six years I’m going to be sitting here and my app will tell me which rooftop my drone is going to be on and at what time. That’s just around the corner, it’s pretty insane.

“So I’m starting to get active in that direction. I’m a conservative person, so I need to be careful. I do prefer to go for companies that already have a bit of a track record, but we’ll see.”

The interview cites Rosberg’s net worth as being £23 million ($29.6m), with the German admitting he earned “a lot” during his final year in F1 with Mercedes in 2016.

Nevertheless, Rosberg claimed he is “not a big spender”, instead opting for a number of property investment opportunities, his best being some space in London that has become a convenience store.

One of the big factors in Rosberg’s decision to retire from F1 was becoming a father, and he admitted that it also changed his approach to dealing with financial matters.

“Having [Alaia] really opened my eyes to future planning, because I want her to have all the opportunities I had in my life,” Rosberg said.

Ryan Hunter-Reay cleared to drive at Pocono

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Ryan Hunter-Reay has been cleared to drive in today’s ABC Supply 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) following his accident in qualifying for the race.

The driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda was re-evaluated Sunday morning by INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows after being transported, then released, from a nearby hospital in Pocono on Saturday.

Here’s INDYCAR’s full statement:

Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was re-evaluated by INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows this morning after sustaining injuries to his left knee and hip Saturday following a crash in ABC Supply 500 qualifying. Hunter-Reay has been cleared to drive.

Hunter-Reay will start from the rear of the field and press on in a great comeback after the accident. Last year he drove from the rear of the field – twice – to ultimately finish third. He won this race in 2015, his most recent Verizon IndyCar Series victory.

He posted a couple tweets last night thanking everyone for the support and the Holmatro Safety Team and Pocono’s staff for quick work to help him after sustaining hip and knee injuries from a heavy 138G impact.