Chris Buescher has yet to enjoy his first Sprint Cup Series win


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.”

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Justin Haley replaces Kyle Busch in Kaulig car for Xfinity race


Justin Haley will drive Kaulig Racing’s No. 10 car in Monday morning’s scheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Haley replaces Cup Series regular Kyle Busch, who was scheduled to drive for Kaulig in the 300-miler. The race was postponed from Saturday to Monday because of weather, giving NASCAR a 900-mile doubleheader at the track.

Busch decided to concentrate on the Coca-Cola 600 Cup race, scheduled for a  3 p.m. start.

Haley also will race in the 600.

Ty Gibbs is scheduled to run in both races.

Charlotte Cup race postponed to Monday by weather


CONCORD, N.C. — All-day rain Sunday forced the postponement of the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup Series race to Monday.

The postponement means that Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to host 900 miles of stock car racing Monday. A 300-mile Xfinity Series race, originally scheduled Saturday and first postponed to noon Monday, has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET Monday (FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The Cup race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (Fox, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Sunday’s Cup race was scheduled to start at 6:21 p.m. ET, but light rain was still falling at that time in the speedway area near Charlotte. Rain intensified a few minutes later and, despite an evening forecast that showed slight improvement, officials decided at 6:30 p.m. to postpone the race.

Monday’s forecast calls for a 34% chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity race and a 30% chance at the start of the Cup race.

William Byron will start the race from the pole after qualifying was washed out Saturday night.

RFK Racing gains sponsorship from submarine recruiting group


CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR racing and submarines? Yes.

RFK Racing announced Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that it has entered a partnership with BlueForge Alliance, which is involved in securing workers for the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) program. will be a primary sponsor for RFK drivers Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher in 10 Cup Series races this year and in 18 races per season beginning in 2024.

The sponsorship will showcase the careers related to the submarine-building program across the nation.

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“I’m proud to support a cause of such vital significance to our country with this new partnership,” Keselowski said. “The synergies between a NASCAR team and our military’s needs to stay on track fast are countless. We hope to inspire the workforce of the next generation across the country when they see RFK race and hear our message.”

The sponsorship will support the mission to recruit, hire, train, develop and retain the SIB workforce that will build the Navy’s next generation of submarines, the team said.

“We are excited and grateful to be teaming with RFK Racing to drive awareness of the thousands of steady, well-paying manufacturing jobs available across the nation. Innovation, working with purpose and service to others are hallmarks of both of our organizations,” said Kiley Wren, BlueForge chief executive. “Together, we aim to inspire NASCAR fans and all Americans to pursue career opportunities that will support our national defense.”

Kyle Larson visits Indianapolis Motor Speedway to survey the scene


Former NASCAR champion Kyle Larson, who is scheduled to run the Indianapolis 500 in 2024 as part of an Indy-Charlotte “double,” visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage area Sunday on Indianapolis 500 race day.

Larson said he wanted to familiarize himself with the Indy race-day landscape before he becomes immersed in the process next year.

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Larson later returned to Charlotte, where was scheduled to drive in the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night. Next year, he’s scheduled to run both races.

“I love racing,” Larson told NBC Sports. “I love competing in the biggest races. In my opinion, this is the biggest race in the world. I wanted to be a part of it for a long time, and I finally feel like the timing is right. It’s pretty cool to have a dream come true.

“I wanted to come here and kind of experience it again and get to experience how crazy it is again before I’m in the middle of it next year. I kind of want as little surprise as possible next year.”

In the 2024 500, Larson will be one of four drivers with the Arrow McLaren team.

Earlier this month, Larson and Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon attended an Indy 500 practice day.

Larson said Sunday he hasn’t tested an Indy car.

“I don’t know exactly when I’ll get in the car,” he said. “I’ve had no sim (simulator) time yet. I’ve kind of stayed back. I didn’t want to ask too many questions and take any focus on what they have going on for these couple of weeks. I’m sure that will pick up after today.

“I look forward to the challenge. No matter how this experience goes, I’m going to come out of it a better race car driver.”