Chris Buescher claimed his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series win on Saturday with his victory in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. It was also the first win of the season in Nationwide competition for Roush Fenway Racing.
"That was incredible," Buescher said. "I can't believe this is happening at this point."
Buescher moved into the lead when previous race leader Brendan Gaughan gave up the top spot to head down pit road on lap 66 of the 90-lap race. Buescher stayed out, stretching his fuel mileage for the remaining laps, with his crew thinking the last couple of lengthy cautions were enough to help Buescher save enough fuel to finish the remaining distance.
"Just coasting, knowing that we had a big shortage to make up," Buescher said.
Regan Smith finished second after thinking his engine lost a cylinder in the late laps. Brian Scott was third, Chase Elliott fourth and Alex Tagliani finished fifth as the road course specialist behind the wheel of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
"When I first came off pit road, I thought it was a cylinder, the way it felt," Smith said.
The late-race battle for position between Scott and Tagliani was a heated one that left Scott unhappy with the road course ringer.
"He kinda dive-bombed me, which is fine. I gave him room," Scott said. "He drove me in the dirt and continued to drive me in the dirt."
But, according to Tagliani, it was just racing.
"Just a race incident," Tagliani said. "Sorry to him."
Scott dominated the race early, taking the lead from pole sitter Sam Hornish Jr. on the first lap. He then led every lap until Hornish was able to get up front on a restart on lap 32. Scott retook the lead on the next restart, though, that followed a caution on lap 42. A few laps later, Hornish headed to the garage with an engine issue after missing a shift.
During a caution on lap 50, Scott gave up the lead when he, along with most of the race field, headed down pit road. Trevor Bayne was among six drivers who stayed out, and he restarted with the race lead. As Bayne ran up front, Gaughan moved up to the second position. Gaughan then moved into the lead a few laps later when Bayne hit pit road.
Justin Marks finished sixth, Elliott Sadler was seventh, Dylan Kwasniewski eighth, Bayne ninth and Dakoda Armstrong rounded out the top-10.