While it can’t top Carl Edwards announcing he won’t drive this year, one of the more surprising things that took place this offseason was the news that Chris Buescher, a Ford driver, would be loaned to JTG Daugherty, a Chevrolet team.
“At first sight, it certainly gave us second thoughts,” admitted Raj Nair, executive vice president for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for Ford. “As we thought about it … this is the right thing to do.”
Dave Pericak, Global Director for Ford Performance, said there wasn’t room for Buescher, a Roush Fenway Racing driver, with another Ford team for this season.
Roush Fenway Racing downsized to two teams and both were set with sponsorship for Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports downsized to one team and that car was set with sponsorship for Aric Almirola. Team Penske was not expanding. The Wood Brothers have Ryan Blaney in the car. Stewart-Haas Racing, which joins Ford this year, had no room. Front Row Motorsports, where Buescher was loaned to last year and made NASCAR’s playoffs after his Pocono win, also wasn’t a viable option and will have David Ragan and Landon Cassill as its drivers.
That meant the 24-year-old Buescher would need to run with another manufacturer if he was to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season. Roush loaned Buescher and a charter to JTG Daugherty to ensure Buescher is in every race.
“If you look at where we are in our transition and our plans going forward, we just didn’t have a seat for him and it’s not right to ask him to sit and not drive,” Pericak told NBC Sports. “That’s just not right. Knowing he wants to be a Ford guy, knowing we want him to be a Ford guy, we thought there might have been a unique solution to keeping him basically in the Ford family. This is the right thing for him.”
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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.
Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.
Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.
You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.
It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.
On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.
Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.
When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.
Check out the video above.
Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,
One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.
Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.
In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.
It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.
Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.
Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.