Tha Sports Junkies 101

Chris Buescher Wins Weather Shortened Pennsylvania 400


The rookie season for Chris Buescher hasn’t been lucky for the most part entering Monday’s Pennsylvania 400. But, he used every bit of luck to collect his first Sprint Cup Series win at Pocono Raceway when the race was cut short due to fog with 22 laps remaining on the scoring tower. The win rewrote the history books as this was the first fog shortened race in 44 years. Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Regan Smith, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart to round out the top 5.

Buescher took the lead on lap 127 during a cycle of green flag stops when fog began rolling throughout the track. He continued to stay out, even when the caution came out to gamble and hope there would be enough fuel before the race was red flagged or restarted in case it went back to green. But, The red flag came with Chris still being up front and after a long wait, he was awarded his maiden Cup Series win.

“Yeah, we’ll walk in here. This is going to stir up our whole year.” Chis Buescher said after the race.”Now we have to make sure we’re top-30 in points (after Richmond to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup).”

Why is making the top 30 so important to them? With the win, Buescher moved closer but still isn’t quite eligible to make the 16-driver field for the upcoming Chase for the Sprint Cup. He leaves Pocono six points shy of 30th place in the standings behind gate keeper David Ragan. Finding consistency will be key for the 34 team in the coming weeks as they fight for a playoff spot.

Other storylines from Monday’s Pennsylvania 400 At Pocono Raceway include:

  • Chris Beuscher’s win is the first win for a rookie at Pocono in 10 years, when Denny Hamlin swept both races at the track. He also becomes eligible for the 2017 NASCAR All Star Race.
  • Third-place finisher Regan Smith was Tommy Baldwin Racing’s best finish ever in Sprint Cup competition when he also stayed out during the last green flag stops.
  • Kyle Larson had an eventful race that included leading 37 laps, second-most of any driver, and contact with Austin Dillon battling for the lad at one point before finishing sixth.
  • Pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. had a day he’d rather forget, suffering three tire failures through the course of the race before parking it for the day due to crash damage. He finished 38th.
  • Joey Logano led a race-high 38 laps and appeared as if he had the car to win until Chase Elliott made contact with Logano on Lap 105, sending the latter into the wall. Logano finished 37th, while Elliott finished 33rd.

Next Race Up: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have a quick turnaround as they head to Watkins Glen International for the Cheez-It 350 Sunday.