Chris Buescher’s racing career has actually been quite interesting thus far. In 2015, while driving for Roush-Fenway Racing in the Xfinity Series, Buescher put together a consistent season, with an average finish of 8.4, two wins, and 11 top 5s in the 33 races (33%) to take home the championship. With Roush not having any room for him in the Cup Series, though, Buescher was forced to take a ride with JTG-Daugherty Racing, which is where he still remains (he actually just signed a multi-year extension). With Roush-Fenway making significant gains in 2017, though, you have to wonder whether or not Buescher’s loyalty to JTG-Daugherty was the best move for his career.
Cup Series History
Last year was Chris Buescher’s second full season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and honestly he showed some impressive signs during his sophomore campaign. Of course, his only win in NASCAR’s top series came in that rain-shortened 2016 Pocono race, but Buescher was able to post an average finish of 21.4 last year–besting his rookie average by almost five positions–and he actually ended up with four top 10s as well (double his rookie total). Additionally, only one of those top 10s was at a restrictor plate track, although attrition played a major factor in the others–specifically that wreckfest at Indianapolis, where Buescher came home 9th.
Predictions for the Upcoming Season
One good thing you can say about Chris Buescher is that he takes care of his equipment, but at the same time, the cars from JTG-Daugherty aren’t the best fleet in the garage. Still, Chris does the best with what he’s got, and that actually makes it pretty impressive that he scored top 20 finishes in nearly half of the Cup Series races last season. Additionally, when you compare the first half of 2017 to the second half, Buescher’s average finish jumped from 22.1 to 20.7. If he can improve even more with another season under his belt, it won’t be very surprising to see the #37 Chevrolet consistently running in the teens on race day this year.
Overall Expectations: What’s holding Buescher back the most is his equipment, and that situation hasn’t gotten better over the offseason. Additionally, the same concerns exist with Chris as those with Bubba Wallace and Ty Dillon, and with my opinion of Chevrolet having another down year in 2018, a regression from Buescher wouldn’t be out of this world, either. Talent can only take you so far.
Can Chris Buescher win a Cup Series race in 2018? No. JTG-Daugherty Racing would have to take a major step forward for that to happen, and it’s not very likely that that happens this season–or really any season in the foreseeable future. Buescher’s only chance of getting to victory lane is having good luck with an on-track activity, just like what happened at Pocono in 2015.
Chris Buescher as a Fantasy Option in 2018
DraftKings: You can expect to use Buescher in your DraftKings lineups quite frequently once again in 2018. There are reliability concerns with his cars, yes, but at the same time, Chris ended up with a positive place differential in 25 of the 36 races last season (69.4%). As long as his salary stays low in DraftKings for the upcoming season, Buescher will be an option during most weekends.
Season-Long Salary Cap Games: Buescher’s viability as a season-long salary cap option is going to be pretty dependent on his price and how he fits into your roster. As mentioned before, though, Buescher is great at taking care of his equipment, but of course you’re not dealing with the cream of the crop with the JTG-Daugherty organization. Chris is one of those drivers that is going to rarely give you a “dud” week, but at the same time, his good finishes will be few and far between.