Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chris Buescher not worried about long odds at Dover

DOVER, Del. — When racing pundits were making their NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship predictions at the start of the season, it's doubtful that Chris Buescher made anyone's top 16.

Nevertheless, Buescher defied the odds and qualified for the Chase on the strength of an unlikely victory in the rain-shortened Aug. 1 race at Pocono.

But the opening two events of the playoff didn't go the way the driver of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford would have liked. Buescher was 28th at Chicagoland and 30th at New Hampshire to fall into last place in the Chase standings, 30 points below the cut line.

To avoid elimination when the Chase field is cut from 16 drivers to 12, Buescher almost certainly needs a victory in today's Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway (2 p.m., NBCSN) to reach the next round.

To Buescher, surprisingly, that means a stress-free weekend at the Monster Mile.

"We look at Dover as the last race of this round, and we really don't have anything to lose," Buescher said. "Chicago and Loudon weren't the races that we wanted to have, and we come into Dover, one of my favorite racetracks.

"I'm excited to get on track. This should be a place where we can really have a good run and see if we can advance to that next round. It's going to be tough at this point, but this is probably our best race track out of this round, so I'm excited to get going."

In his only previous Sprint Cup start at the Monster Mile — a wreck-filled war of attrition on May 15 — Buescher finished 18th, four laps down. But in four NASCAR Xfinity starts at Dover, Buescher, the 2015 series champion, has one victory, three top 10s and a worst finish of 11th.

Xfinity: Rain washed out the Drive Sober 200 Saturday, so there will be a doubleheader today at Dover. The second-tier NASCAR race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on CNBC, followed by the Sprint Cup race.

Formula One: Lewis Hamilton put himself in the best position to wrest back the points lead by claiming the pole for the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. The two-time defending world champion edged teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg by 0.4 seconds.

Trucks: Tyler Reddick earned his first series victory of the season at the DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Reddick led 70 of 146 laps and edged Daniel Hemric by 1.404 seconds.

NHRA: Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) led rain-shortened qualifying for today's Dodge Nationals in Reading, Pa.

Chris Buescher not worried about long odds at Dover 10/01/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2016 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.