Motorsport News

Does Chris Buescher Need to Start Driving Differently?

Nascar Cup Series driver Chris Buescher prepares for the race at Las Vegas, NKP

For Chris Buescher, the last two NASCAR Cup Series races have been an exercise in futility. Seemingly doing everything the right way, from racing Kyle Larson clean at Kansas Speedway, to trying to give his team owner an assist past Tyler Reddick instead of making an aggressive three-wide pass, and it’s the same result: a winless weekend for the No. 17 Ford.

While he’s generally one of the first drivers you think of when it comes to driving clean, is it time for Buescher to start blasting guys out of the way? Since this most recent event occurred during throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway, what better way than to have two of the longest-tenured Frontstretch writers on the staff, Amy Henderson and Vito Pugliese weigh in on this week’s 2-Headed Monster.

This Aggression Will Not Stand … Man.

Chris Buescher is usually one of the most even-keeled, unshakable drivers in the Cup Series, so seeing him talk down to Tyler Reddick like a Little League dad was a bit out of character – which may be a good thing.

Two weeks in a row now the No. 17 team was denied victory by contact from another competitor. With Kyle Larson at Kansas, it was two consecutive door slams coming to the line for the closest finish in history. Buescher was disappointed but seemed to be okay with the tactics for the win. At Darlington with seven laps to go he did brush the wall a bit, but then contact from Reddick caused additional contact and a big drop in momentum that allowed team owner Brad Keselowski to skate by for his first win in the Next Gen era for a points paying race.

That may have been the last straw.

One thing a driver cannot do is allow themselves to get used up and pushed around, particularly in NASCAR. Once there’s a reputation of non-violence they tend to get exploited. Long-gone are the days when drivers like Terry Labonte or Mark Martin would pull down and let a faster car by – only to blow by them again 10 laps later. The give and take of yesterday was every bit the throwback that Reddick’s yellow and red Chevrolet was this past weekend.

It’s a world that no longer exists.

Keselowski was asked in the media center if Buescher needed to change, to which he responded, “Chris just needs to keep being Chris.” That makes sense when you consider the source. Brad is an owner and comes from a family that has long fielded their own cars. From his father Bob, Uncle Ron, and brother Brian, he comes from a you break it, you…

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