Story By: BRANDON LEE / ROUSH FENWAY RACING – AVONDALE, AZ – Chris Buescher will make his tenth NASCAR Cup Series start at Phoenix on Sunday, where he has an average finish of 24.7.
His best finish is 16th – which happened twice – in 2019.
The 2020 NASCAR season comes to a close this weekend out west, where Phoenix Raceway hosts the finale for the first time in its history.
The return to Arizona is also unique in that the spring race at Phoenix marked the last pre-COVID event for the series, as the pandemic ultimately postponed the schedule for two months following. Despite the hiatus, the #NASCARPlayoffs schedule remained intact, with Phoenix capping the 36-race campaign.
Four weeks of NASCAR action were completed prior to the COVID-19 hiatus with races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville postponed before the schedule later picked back up in mid-May.
Sunday’s starting lineup will be set by three competition-based metrics, rewarding both season-long and single-race performance, and will be announced later in the week.
Buescher Historically at Phoenix
In the last four events in Phoenix, Buescher has finished no worse than 18th, and ran 17th in the No. 17 this spring.
In four Xfinity starts at Phoenix, Buescher had a best finish of 12th in 2014 in the No. 60, with his best qualifying effort coming in 2015 (seventh).
Luke Lambert Historically at Phoenix
Lambert returns to the site of his lone Cup series win, which came three years ago with Ryan Newman. Overall Lambert has an average finish of 13.5 in 15 races atop the box.
Lambert led Jeff Burton to a fourth-place run in his first-ever race in Phoenix back in 2011, and went on to also finish seventh (2014) and third (2015) with Newman. Most recently, he and Buescher ran 17th this spring.
Lambert also visited victory lane in the Xfinity Series with Elliott Sadler in 2012 after starting eighth, one of his two starts as a crew chief in the NXS at Phoenix.
Buescher on racing at Phoenix:
“There’s no doubt 2020 has been different and challenging at the same time, and that for sure applies to me and our 17 team. We’ve had an up and down ride this season, but have a great opportunity at another short track this weekend in Phoenix, and we’re looking forward to ending it on a good note in the Fastenal Ford.”
Last Time Out
Buescher finished 38th in Martinsville after being collected in an on-track incident.