DOVER, Del. (AP) — Chris Buescher stretched his fuel, connected with a teammate and held on to win the Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.
Buescher, the series points leaders, has emerged as the driver to beat in NASCAR’s second-tier series. He edged Chase Elliott for a win two weeks ago at Iowa Speedway and followed with his third career Xfinity win.
Buescher conserved enough fuel to drive a whopping 98 miles on his final run in the No. 60 Ford, a stellar effort for the Roush Fenway Racing driver.
“I was clutching it a lot those last 15 laps trying to save all we had there and get all we could,” he said.
Owner Jack Roush was one of the first to congratulate Buescher.
He might have to play peacemaker this week at the shop.
Buescher knocked fellow Roush driver Darrell Wallace Jr., also slowing to conserve fuel, out of the way late in the race to take the lead. Wallace, who started on the pole, lost his left rear tire and was forced to pit. He led 52 laps and finished 17th.
“It’s my teammate, so I can’t really say much,” Wallace said. “I’m just saving fuel there and he runs over me. Should be an interesting Monday morning.”
Roush said there was “no worse horror” than one driver taking out his teammate and said he wanted the pair “feeling good” about each other again.
“I felt like we were in position to make the pass a couple of times,” Buescher said. “It looked like our opportunity and we had a good run up off the corner. We just got a little free on the bottom. We’ll talk about it.”
Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Regan Smith, Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne.
Kenseth said the racing with the developmental drivers was about as good as it’s been in the series.
“It’s always been really competitive and it’s certainly competitive right now,” Kenseth said.
Smith won a $100,000 bonus as the top finisher among the four designated in the series’ Dash 4 Cash race. He’s now eligible for the $1 million prize should he again have the best finish among four drivers in the next three Dash races and wins the Darlington race.
“We appreciate (Xfinity). We want to take as much of their money as we can,” Smith said. “It’d be a cool story to pull off that million dollar deal.”
Elliott, Brendan Gaughan, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones and Jeremy Clements round out the top 10. Jones turned 19 on Saturday, led 70 laps and looked like the driver to beat until a late-race pit row speeding penalty took him out of contention.
Buescher broke through in a big way this month, hopeful to attract even more needed sponsorship dollars.
“We’re always auditioning,” he said. “We’re always trying to make a name for ourselves. We’re all racers, we’re all driving hard and we’ll see where that leads.”
At Dover, it led to a post-race bash.
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