Chris Buescher’s road to Chase is clearly marked

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Christ Buescher and Crew Chief Bob Osborne watch as crew members make adjustments to the number 34 car during testing at Kentucky Speedway on June 13, 2016. .Bobby Ellis/NASCAR via Getty Images
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Christ Buescher and Crew Chief Bob Osborne watch as crew members make adjustments to the number 34 car during testing at Kentucky Speedway on June 13, 2016. .Bobby Ellis/NASCAR via Getty Images
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Christ Buescher and Crew Chief Bob Osborne watch as crew members make adjustments to the number 34 car during testing at Kentucky Speedway on June 13, 2016. .Bobby Ellis/NASCAR via Getty Images

RICHMOND, Va. – Because he has a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in his pocket, Chris Buescher’s path to a Chase spot is much more clearly defined than Austin Dillon’s is.

Buescher needs merely to stay in the top 30 in the series standings, and for practical purposes, that involves staying ahead of or tied with 31st-place David Ragan, who trails Buescher by 11 points entering the final event of the 26-race regular-season.

“I think we pretty much know what we have to do here at Richmond,” said Buescher, who finished 34th in April in his only Sprint Cup start at the track . “It’s really pretty obvious. We’re going to control what we can control and do our best to have a good, clean race. Stay out of trouble. All the normal things you try to do. Go out here and try to have a good run at Richmond.

“This is historically not one of my better tracks, but we’ve been making progress. Throughout practice (in hot temperatures on Friday), we were better than earlier in the spring. I’m happy about that. I wish it was a little cooler so we knew what we would have when it comes around to race time, but at the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat and we will all figure it out together.”

Friday night however, Buescher’s Chase hopes got a bit tougher. He qualified 30th. David Ragan had a much better qualifying session advancing to the second round, and securing a 24th starting spot.

Richmond hosts Fan Appreciation Weekend

As part of NASCAR’s inaugural Fan Appreciation weekend, fans will be treated to a host of giveaways, prizes, autographs and more.

“I’m really excited about everything we have this weekend to recognize the fans. They are the heart-and-soul of this sport and the reason we’re so passionate about what we do,” said Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier. “This goes far beyond Richmond International Raceway, as the entire industry has jumped on board to say ‘Thank You, Fans’.”

The prizes have been donated from companies and teams like XFINITY, Monster, Roush-Fenway Racing, Sprint and MARS, and include an iPad Mini and a firesuit worn by Miss Sprint Cup.

The prize giveaways are in addition to the fan experiences already in place, such as Gridside Live! and premium fan upgrades in the Midway at displays like Chevy, Coca-Cola and Sprint.

Tickets for Saturday’s race are available on nascar.com/tickets or on www.rir.com.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.