Aero Changes Make Timing Perfect for Chris Buescher’s Promotionby Kyle Pokrefky January 24, 2016
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If there is any year that best serves as Chris Buescher’s first full-time foray into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2016 is it.
Buescher, last year’s XFINITY Series champion, has received his call to the big leagues following an impressive championship performance to pilot Front Row Motorsports’s No. 34 Ford.
Buescher has already gotten his feet wet in the series – having made six starts last year – and is entering NASCAR’s top division at the right time.
With the low-downforce package utilized at Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway last year now to be the baseline non-restrictor plate package, each team and driver is still yet to fully sink their teeth into the new aerodynamics package.
Given that, the timing for Buescher to jump to the Sprint Cup Series couldn’t be any more perfect.
“Yeah, probably. There’s a lot of changes and I don’t see any reason why not,” Buescher told The Fourth Turn on Wednesday. “Everybody’s in the same boat here – we’ve all got to learn the different aero package and how that’s going to play out.
“I’m glad that we get to give it a shot. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun this year. It’s going to be tough – and I know that.”
The Prosper, Texas native will receive the benefit of a new technical alliance forged between Front Row and Roush Fenway Racing – his XFINITY team – and will hit the track with improved chassis thanks to the alliance.
The introduction of the low-downforce package full-time also benefits Roush Fenway, who collectively scored their best finishes of the season with the package at Kentucky last year and showed strong pace in Darlington’s practices.
“I think it’s going to be a great program,” Buescher said. “There’s a lot of good things that are going to come from the amount of shared engineering data that we’ll have back and forth to having extra teammates during a weekend.
“Just strengthening the Ford Performance camp and bringing everybody closer together, it just adds to everybody’s benefit.
“I think it’s going to be really important as we get into the year to make sure that we get everything growing as smoothly as possible – especially early on, we have to get the momentum early.
“I think it’s going to be great. It’s giving Front Row an opportunity to have more data than they’ve ever had to process and learn from and I think that’s going to benefit Landon and myself really well.”
With his new ride, Buescher will receive the chance to now go toe-to-toe with the heroes he watched on TV growing up.
Though he recognizes that the task will be a daunting one, he knows that he’s more than ready for it.
“I knew it was going to be very difficult to get out here and run with guys that have been doing this for 10, 15, 20 years,” Buescher said. “We’ve got to go out there and be competitive. It’s guys I grew up watching TV, we’ve got to go out there and run with them now.
“It’s a lot of added pressure and I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be great.”
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images