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MAY 6, 2024 | Ford Performance Staff

Chris Buescher Led Ford With A Second-Place Finish In Kansas

Chris Buescher in Mustang Dark Horse NASCAR

KANSAS CITY, KS. - Chris Buescher came out on the wrong side of NASCAR history as he was edged out by Kyle Larson in a photo finish at Kansas Speedway Sunday night. The margin of victory, 0.001-seconds is the closest in NASCAR Cup Series history.

The frantic finish, which included Buescher and Larson banging into each other coming to the checkered flag, came after a late race caution that allowed Buescher, who was slowing down to conserve fuel before the yellow flag, to pit and come out in second and ready for a mad dash to the finish.

Buescher had a solid first half of the race, driving his way from a 12th-place starting position to fifth at the end of Stage 1. Buescher then used a move at the start of Stage 2 to dart four-wide through several cars up a second place. Buescher would remain there until lap 125 when he took the lead, holding it for his first Stage win of the season. 

Unfortunately, disaster struck for the 17-team during the Stage 2 break pit stop. After coming off pit road second to Kyle Larson, Buescher’s team was penalized for a crew member over the wall too soon and had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Buescher was stuck in the back of the field until a series of cautions helped the 17 drive back up through the field, culminating in a strategy to stay out during a lap 201 caution while the leader's pit. Buescher reclaimed the lead on lap 209, driving past Denny Hamlin, but Hamlin would take it back just six laps later on lap 215.

That is where things would stay until the aforementioned overtime restart capped the eventful night for Buescher and the Ford Mustangs.

Buescher led four different times for 54 laps, third most amongst all drivers and led a trio of Mustangs with top-10 finishes, joined by Noah Gragson in ninth and Michael McDowell in 10th.

The NASCAR Cup Series travels to Darlington Raceway next Sunday (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).


1st – Kyle Larson

2nd - Chris Buescher

3rd - Chase Elliott

4th - Martin Truex Jr.

5th - Denny Hamlin

6th - Christopher Bell

7th - Alex Bowman

8th - Kyle Busch

9th - Noah Gragson

10th - Michael McDowell



11th - Brad Keselowski

12th - Ryan Blaney

14th - Todd Gilliland 

15gth - Josh Berry

18th - Justin Haley

21st - Chase Briscoe

28th - Ryan Preece

34th - Joey Logano

35th - Riley Herbst

36th - Harrison Burton

37th - Austin Cindric

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Castrol Edge Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 2nd)

THAT WAS THE CLOSEST FINISH IN NASCAR HISTORY, 0.001 SECONDS. WALK US THROUGH THAT LAST LAP: “We got a great push. Chase got us a good restart and we got into the corner. We were able to run the bottom pretty well and we had some good momentum down the back but Kyle (Larson) certainly had a run. I was trying to cover what I could but we just left too much space around the top side. Unfortunately, that ended up getting us, and it hurts. It was a good race. We were banging doors all the way to the checkers. I knew it was going to be close but certainly it hurts to be that close and miss out. The photo I have seen, I can’t make out anything from the photo finish at this point. Maybe we will see something a little bit clearer and get a better understanding.”

YOUR CREW WAS CELEBRATING AND THOUGHT YOU HAD THE WIN. WHAT WERE THEY TELLING YOU ON THE RADIO? “We were celebrating down the backstretch and looked at the pylon and we were P1 up there. Everything we had said we had gotten it. Obviously not. Like I said, the only thing I have to go off of is a grainy photo right now and at this point it just sounds like I am complaining, and I guess I am because I don't see it in that. I don't understand how the timing system can read it out one way and not the other. We just gotta understand it better.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS RIGHT NOW AS YOU DIGEST IT? “I don't really know what to say right now. All I have seen is the picture and I sure can’t see it in that picture. It sucks to be that close. It was a great finish though. We had a really strong day with a lot of speed in this Castol Edge Ford Mustang and we really needed that. We needed a win more. I thought we had that one. We had a lot of speed there firing off, we were really good all day. I am really proud of that. We had good strategy to get us back up there and I tried to cover what I could but I gave him half a lane too much I suppose. That was a good hard race there down to the line. It hurts.”

YOU MENTIONED THE SPEED. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT GOING FORWARD? “Yeah, speed is good. Wins are better. We need to be in that situation again and need to get some trophies and checkered flags and put ourselves in a much better spot.”

WAS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE DONE ON THE LAST RESTART? “Yeah, it was a great restart for us. Our Mustang was really good firing off and I certainly could have blocked more but at the end of the day I felt like I was pretty defensive on it. I felt like I was going to make a drag race out of it coming to the finish line. We got to banging doors there a little bit and lost some momentum and I was aggressive trying to cover it. I just needed a draft to keep speed up down the straightaway. I am really proud of that work. I just watched the replay and I just can’t see it right now. It hurts to see the pylon say we get it and then not.”

WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS LIKE WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT AND THEN YOU DON'T? “It sucks to celebrate on the backstretch and then pull up to the front straightaway and be told no. I don't know how everything transpired honestly. Not right now. It sucks in a lot of ways. Second hurts, a whole lot worse than third. To be that close a couple of times this year now and not be able to get the win, the speed is great and we did a good job today and was a good recovery from the end of Stage 2 there but we don't have a trophy right now.”

NOAH GRAGSON, No. 10 Bass Pro Shops Winchester Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 9th)

“I thought we had a really good Mustang all weekend. We qualified third and was fourth in practice and then come home ninth tonight. Overall a really good weekend. We were trying some strategy stuff there at the end swinging two-tires at it with about 60 to go at that caution. It kinda hurt us on that short run but we were able to run them back down on the long run, which, I would have thought it would have been the opposite. I am super thankful for everybody at Bass Pro Shops and Winchester and Ford. Everybody has been working really hard and this is our third top-10 finish in a row. We were third at Talladega, sixth and Dover and now ninth here. 3-6-9, damn I guess we are doing fine. Still want a little bit more, but these have been good days compared to what our goals were at the start of the year.”  


AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Snap-On Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Involved in accident on lap 184)

WHAT HAPPENED FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE? “A lot of cars there trying to overdrive the corner to try to get in front of one another. The 22 slid up on the 20, the 20 slid up on the 11 and I was the first thing to hit before the wall. I tried to back out when I saw the situation the 11 was getting put in. It is just racing. Nobody I can really be frustrated with. It is unfortunate. I felt we had a really solid run going, nothing overly spectacular but I thought the guys did a really good job all weekend and executed a great race up until that point.”

LOOKED LIKE YOU GUYS WERE HOPEFUL TO FIX IT AT FIRST. WHAT PUT YOU OUT? “Never give up but I had a right-rear toe linc broken and the the upper control arm was broken on the left front. The car was killed. I would drive it if they let me.”

WHAT DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS LEARNED FOR THE 1.5 MILE TRACKS THIS WEEKEND? “Quite a lot to be  honest. We have played a lot with a very similar package, at least for us, and this was probably our best intermediate, if we aren’t counting Dover. it is definitely our best just on the 2 car. As a company obviously it was a bit of a struggle today and I think we have learned a lot. Just not good enough.”