Chris Buescher leads Nationwide “Happy Hour” at Dover


Nationwide Series rookie Chris Buescher jumped to the top of the time sheets during the final Nationwide practice session for tomorrow’s 200-lap event.

Buescher, who won earlier this year on the road course at Mid-Ohio, went P1 with a lap of 154.825 mph in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang.

That was enough to eclipse last week’s Nationwide winner at Kentucky, Brendan Gaughan, and his best lap of 153.991 mph in the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“Our race runs are really good,” Buescher told ESPN. “I feel like we’re holding our speed late into a run, so I’m pretty proud of these guys. We’ve been working hard at this thing and making progress every week.

“We’re sitting seventh in the standings, and that’s a big plus for us. So, we’re making progress and enjoying it.”

Sprint Cup regular Aric Almirola was third-quickest at 152.996 mph. One day before he tries to keep his championship hopes alive in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, he will be making his second Nationwide start of the season in the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford on Saturday; Almirola finished 14th in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland two weekends ago.

Richard Childress Racing part-time Cale Conley carried over his solid pace from first practice to wind up fourth in this session at 152.568 mph. Completing the Top 5 was Buescher’s teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, Trevor Bayne (152.517).

Qualifying will take place tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 p.m. ET, followed by their main event at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.