CREW CHIEF: Bob Osborne
TEAM: Front Row Motorsports
WINS: 1 (Pocono II)
LAPS LED: 12
TOP 5s: 2
TOP 10s: 2
WHAT WENT RIGHT: It was a rough rookie season for Buescher in the Sprint Cup Series. Still, there were some high points, most notably his fog-shortened win at Pocono on Monday, August 1 (had been delayed due to weather the day before). … Two weeks after his win at Pocono, he finished fifth at Bristol, his only other top-5 or top-10 in 2016. … By winning at Pocono, Buescher also qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but was eliminated after the first round.
WHAT WENT WRONG: After winning the Xfinity Series championship in 2015, Buescher struggled far more often than achieving success in his first fulltime season in the Sprint Cup Series. Sure, he earned one victory, but two top-5/top-10 finishes meant little compared to four DNFs, an average start of 26.2 and an average finish of 26.1. All told, he had four finishes from 11th to 19th, 19 finishes from 20th to 30th and 11 finishes from 31st to 40th.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2017: The Prosper, Texas native moves to JTG-Daugherty Racing, which expands for the first time in its history from a single-car team to a two-car operation in 2017. … With new teammate A.J. Allmendinger, Buescher should show some improvement in his sophomore season. JTG-D has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, which should give a performance boost for Buescher, who is expected to drive the No. 37 Chevrolet.
Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour. He has won three of the past four Xfinity poles.
Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.
Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson (winner of three consecutive Xfinity races), Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.
The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.
NASCAR Cup and Xfinity teams will be busy Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Cup Series enters the second round of the playoffs with 12 drivers remaining for the title. Cup teams will practice and qualify today.
The Xfinity Series begins its playoffs Saturday with 12 drivers in championship contention. Xfinity teams will practice and qualify before racing.
All track activity will be broadcast on USA Network. The temperature will climb into the mid-90s Saturday, according to Weather Underground.
Saturday, Sept. 24
- 8:30 a.m. — Xfinity Series
- 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Cup Series
- 10:30 – 11:05 a.m. — Xfinity Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
- 11:05 a.m. – noon — Xfinity Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
- 12:35 – 1:20 p.m. — Cup Series practice (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
- 1:20 – 2:30 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (USA Network, NBC Sports App)
- 3:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, NBC Sports App, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
The Xfinity Series playoffs begin this weekend. Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs enter as the favorites. They’ve combined to win 11 of the 26 races this season.
Gragson, who has six wins this season, seeks to win his fourth consecutive victory.
Gibbs, who has five victories this year, is one of four drivers in the Xfinity playoffs for the first time. The other three are Josh Berry, Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.
Also in the playoffs are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.
Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given by Andy’s Frozen Custard executives Andy Kuntz, Dana Kuntz and Carol Kuntz at 3:38 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 8:30 a.m. … Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. … Qualifying begins at 11:05 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … Janie Balderas will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.
TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 3 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST TIME: Tyler Reddick gave Big Machine Racing its first series win in May. William Byron was second and Sam Mayer was third.
Team Penske will appeal the penalty to Ryan Blaney‘s team from last weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the organization confirmed Friday.
NASCAR suspended crew chief Jonathan Hassler, jackman Graham Stoddard and rear tire changer Zachary Price four races each after a wheel came off Blaney’s car during a pit stop. His left rear wheel rolled off when he exited his stall and the tire bounced down pit road through before it was captured.
The penalty would have caused Hassler and the pit crew members to miss all of the second round and the first race in the third round. With the appeal. Hassler, Stoddard and Price will be able to participate in Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.).
Blaney enters the second round holding the final transfer spot. He, Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell are tied with 3,013 points. He won the All-Star Race in May at Texas.
Chase Briscoe is the first driver below the cutline. He’s four points behind Blaney. Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez are each six points behind Blaney. Austin Cindric is seven points behind Blaney.