With Larson’s win at Michigan and Buescher’s upset in the fog-shortened race at Pocono last month, there are only three spots left to be filled on the grid for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
At the most, two spots could potentially be filled by first-time winners in the Southern 500 or next week at Richmond.
Then comes the wrench named Buescher.
The rookie driver is only on the grid because he’s narrowly in the top 30 in points. Buescher is ahead of David Ragan by just seven points, down from 13 entering Michigan.
If the Front Row Motorsports driver falters further in the next two races, he could allow for at least four more drivers to point their way into the Chase.
Here’s a look at how the Chase bubble looks with and without Buescher in the top 30 in points.
While Buescher has said Darlington is his favorite track on the NASCAR circuit, he has not made a start there in the Sprint Cup Series. But in four starts there in the Xfinity Series, Buescher has one top five (2015).
The Southern 500 airs Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on NBC.