After winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Monday at Pocono Raceway, one would have expected Chris Buescher to bask in its glory until duty called at Watkins Glen International.
Instead, the only celebrating the Front Row Motorsports rookie got to do was in victory lane.
Friday morning Buescher met with the media for the first time since he won rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 and revealed he spent this week practicing his road course skills and handling additional winner’s obligations.
“We left Pocono and didn’t celebrate the slightest bit,” Buescher said. “Got back to the bus and it was TP’d, and we cleaned the toilet paper off after it got rained on, then we went to Utah for the next day and a half and then came back.
“I’m pretty sure I spent Wednesday and Thursday on the phone just doing interviews straight through to the next one. It has been wild how everything has played out, and I haven’t had time for it to settle in and feel like we won a race. It has been so crazy.”
Sunday will be Buescher’s second Sprint Cup start at Watkins Glen and his third overall road course Cup race. However, he does have six Xfinity Series road course races under his belt, which includes a win at Mid-Ohio in August of 2014.
But Buescher admits neither he nor his teammates are road racing experts, which is why he along with Landon Cassill, Trevor Bayne, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spent time in Utah at a driving school to prepare for Watkins Glen. The Cheez-It 355 is even more important for Buescher, who is six points shy of being in the top 30 in points and eligible for the Chase.
“We are heading in the right direction now and heading toward that top 30 in points and getting in the Chase,” Buescher said. “We are going to get there. We have been on the right trend and working toward getting out of that hole we have been in for quite a while knowing that we wanted to get in the top 30 in case something did come up.”
According to Buescher, No. 34 team has gone through quite a bit of bad luck in 2016, but the last few weeks have been trending upward. He was running well at Kentucky Speedway before being caught up in an accident, followed by a 29th-place finish at New Hampshire and then what been a career-best 14th place at Indianapolis the week before Pocono.
As for getting to enjoy his win when it finally does sink in, Buescher knows he has to wait just a little bit longer.
“I really haven’t had time to just relax and settle in yet,” he said. “I haven’t really gotten to see any of my friends that would usually be talking about it or pumped up about it. It has been from one outing to the next and all about trying to make sure we are better for the Glen here this weekend.”