Buescher unlikely to move to Roush next season

Chris Buescher
Chris Buescher

Chris Buescher's improbable and highly unusual first Sprint Cup victory at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago had little impact on how Roush Fenway Racing executives evaluate their prospect and 2015 Xfinity Series champion. The team already believed the 23-year-old was capable of winning at NASCAR's highest level, president Steve Newmark told USA TODAY Sports, so winning in his work-study program at Front Row Motorsports on a fuel strategy gambit in a race halted prematurely because of rain and fog provided no new evidence.

But even though Buescher now has more wins that the entirety of Roush Fenway's three-car Sprint Cup contingent and a simpler route to Chase for the Sprint Cup qualification than Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle or Ricky Stenhouse Jr., he is currently unlikely to be brought back aboard his parent team next season.

"I don't think that particular win monumentally changes the direction that we want to go with him," Newmark said. "Our hope is to be in a position at some point to bring Chris back into Roush Fenway equipment at the Cup level. Right now we've got a great partnership with Front Row. I think they were excited that that possibility was available because we felt Chris was ready to get to the Cup level after his Xfinity championship last year and thought that would be really good experience. And it's proven to be that."

It is unlikely, Newmark said, that Roush Fenway will expand to four cars for 2017 because of multiple factors. Sponsorship is always involved, and, he added, "we need to keep getting better on the race track." USA Today

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