FORT WORTH – Chris Buescher doesn’t have solid plans for the 2016 season yet but will “more than likely” spend another year in the Xfinity Series.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver is in his second full season in Xfinity and is fine with most likely having to wait another year before getting the nod for a full-time Sprint Cup ride.
“I am good with that,” Buescher said. “I think as you look through (the years), there have been a handful of names that have been rushed up ahead and tried to be put into something that they may have thought they were ready for, but it is a very big jump up to the next level.”
Buescher got a glimpse of the next level early this year when he started in six races for Front Row Motorsports in replacement of Brett Moffitt. Buescher recently turned 23 and said he considers himself “one of the older guys” in Xfinity but is in “no rush” to get to the Cup series even after his brief stent earlier in the year.
“It made you realize really quickly the competition level and intensity of the racing is a lot different, especially as you close in on the later stages of a race,” Buescher said. “There is a lot of things that go with moving up, it isn’t just a matter of pure speed.
“There are a lot of things to learn and if you aren’t ready and don’t perform at that level as soon as you move up, it is very easy to get forgotten about, get labeled and not have that chance again as you go forward.”
Buescher made the comments Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s Xfinity Series O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 60 addressed his future four months after team owner Jack Roush said the Texas native “was ready” for the Sprint Cup Series.
But Buescher has other things to worry about. The most important being a NASCAR championship.
Buescher is the Xfinity points leader with three races left and is looking to earn a win Saturday at his home track to help grow his 27-point gap over Chase Elliott. Regan Smith lurks in third, 33 points behind.
But Buescher knows they need the wins more than he does in the final races at Texas, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I’ve been pretty open about how much I hate points racing,” Buescher said Thursday. “I don’t like having a car capable of winning and just running third with it because that’s safe. That hurts me. We’ve got to the point where I said 10 races to go I’ll think about it, but we didn’t really, we just kept doing what we thought was working. Now we got to think about it.”
Buescher has two wins this season – at Dover International Speedway and Iowa Speedway. Regan Smith has two wins; Elliott has one.
“Jack (Roush) has arranged stuff to try to help me understand really where we are at,” Buescher said. “The ARCA championship in 2012 is obviously not of the same caliber. There was more of a cushion there at the time and here we are in these last three and it has been extremely competitive.”