Sunday, October 2, 2022

Christopher Buescher grabs 5 year streak for RFK Racing

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The #17 RFK Racing Ford is back in Victory Lane. Christopher Buescher won the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway and achieved a winning streak for organizing the Cup Series that stretches back to the 2017 season.

Buescher caught this streak in a unique way. He survived the battle of attrition and used a two tire pit stop to take the lead late on. He then navigated through the lapped traffic and maintained his lead over Chase Elliott, who was unable to pursue the RFK Racing driver.

Buescher crossed the finish line first and started his personal winning streak that lasted 222 races. He did the same on his 250th start in the Cup Series which gave the evening some meaning.

The last driver to put RFK Racing in Victory Lane was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He won twice driving the No. 17 Ford in the 2017 season. He first captured the trophy at Talladega Superspeedway before winning the summer race at Daytona International Speedway.

Buescher’s victory was significant for himself and for RFK Racing. It was also a historic moment for the sport. Buescher became the 19th driver to win a race in the 2022 season, which ties with the 2001 season most since 1972. Although 2022 sets the record of reaching that mark in just 29 races instead of 36.

The first year of the next-gen era was a complete surprise. There was a surprising number of first time winners including Austin Cindric, Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain. With seven races remaining in the season, it’s possible another could join that list and set a new mark for NASCAR.

Another fascinating aspect of the 2022 season is that the first round of the playoffs included all non-playoff winners. Erik Jones won the Southern 500, Bubba Wallace won at Kansas Speedway and Buescher won at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The playoff drivers’ lack of wins meant they were all much closer together than they would have liked. There was only one rider secured a place in the round of 16 at the Bristol night race while the rest had to scrape and scrape for every single point.

There were several drivers who attracted attention en route to Bristol Motor Speedway. This list included previous winners in Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch. However, they weren’t the ones partying at the end of the night.

Another previous Bristol winner nearly took RFK Racing into victory lane. Driver-Owner Brad Keselowski had a fast #6 Ford Mustang in which he took the lead on the final stage. He appeared to be on course for his first win of the year but, like most Ford Performance drivers, suffered a flat tire that sent him off the front and into the pits.

Keselowski missed an opportunity to win his first race of the year and extend his consecutive seasons to 12 with one win. Instead, he finished 13th after leading a total of 109 laps. This was the third most behind Buescher (169) and Christopher Bell (143).

“It’s like getting your balls kicked and winning the lottery on the same day,” Keselowski told media after the race. But he also showed his excitement by celebrating with Buescher in Victory Lane.

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