Rookie Sprint Cup driver, Chris Buescher was presented with an unlikely set of circumstances that saw his Front Row Motorsports No. 34 team show the racing world that the underdog can win and did in Monday’s rain-shorten NASCAR Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway running 138 laps.
In just a happenstance of being in the right place at the right time that put Buescher out front on lap 127 when the leaders Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick all pitted with 36 laps to go. Then without warning, a heavy, thick blanket of fog rolled over turn one eventually enveloping the entire 2.5-circuit leaving visibility to a minimum. The yellow flag waved finding Buescher as the leader with Brad Keselowski in second and a surprising Regan Smith in third.
Crew Chief, Bob Osborne told his young driver to keep digging and follow the Pace Car. Eventually with 22 to go, NASCAR pulled the field onto pit road after a third wave of fog rolled through the track.
After a 1 hour, 20 minute red flag period, NASCAR made it official announcing Buescher as the winner opening the door to his chance to enter the Chase to the Championship. Right now, he is 31st in the Sprint Cup points standings only six points away with five races to go before Richmond.
For Buescher, the long, tense wait for NASCAR to call the event was well worth it.
“It was stressful,” said Buescher, the 2015 Xfinity Champion. “I tried not to get my hopes up because I know how these things can play out.
“Mother Nature can be really nice sometimes and really mean. If that sun would have come out, it would have changed our whole day.”
Buescher is the first Sprint Cup rookie since Joey Logano in 2009 to win a race.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup teams start back again on Friday for Sunday’s running of the Cheez-It 355K at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.