Chris Buescher ‘Struggling to Understand’ Reddick’s Reasoning

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Chris Buescher’s chances at being the driver breaking Ford Performance’s winless drought were brought to an abrupt end after a late-race dive-bomb by Tyler Reddick ended both of their days.

Chris buescher was left wondering what could have been at darlington raceway after contact with tyler reddick.
Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin’ the Tires.

After an intense battle on the final restart of the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway between Reddick and Buescher’s teammate Brad Keselowski, the RFK Racing driver swept by for the lead with 30 laps to go. The No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Mustang Dark Horse started to pull away from the former lead duo. However, Reddick’s No. 45 MoneyLion Toyota Camry XSE reeled the NASCAR Cup Series driver back in.

Buescher and Reddick raced hard for several laps. Then with 10 laps to go the 23XI Racing driver dove into Turn 3. He slammed into Buescher. The contact was hard enough that Buescher’s car wheel-hopped into the outside wall. Reddick immediately fell off the pace with a flat tire. Less than a lap later, Buescher too was off the pace. Keselowski inherited the lead, and ultimately, the victory.

“There was good clean racing until it wasn’t,” Buescher said “They got side by side and got checked up and we got by completely clean and, was trying to take care of stuff, but run hard. He just went for a move there that just was never going to happen. I just don’t [understand]. Wiped us both out. I mean hit us so hard we wheel hopped into the fence it’s not just a door-to-door contact and a little push and shove. It just ruined both of our days I don’t understand.”

Buescher has raced Reddick, and the entire field, largely clean throughout his NASCAR Cup Series career. That has earned him respect throughout the Cup garage. But the late-race contact has left the Prosper, TX native frustrated.

Chris buescher was left wondering what could have been at darlington raceway after contact with tyler reddick.
Photo by Jerry Jordan/Kickin’ the Tires.

The contact from Reddick was the second consecutive week that Buescher has been on the receiving end of race-deciding contact. At Kansas Speedway late-race contact with Kyle Larson ultimately hurt the Ford driver’s momentum and cost him the win in the closest finish in Cup Series history.

That frustration led Buescher to confront Reddick post-race. The 31-year-old shoved Reddick before having a heated conversation after the contact left his No. 17 Ford 30th.

“[I’m] really, really frustrated by that, pissed off about it,” Buescher admitted. “I just don’t get it. We’ve been able to race clean for how long and to take our group, this Fifth Third Bank No. 17 team out of contention for a for a trophy for another week to miss out on it. It’s starting to hurt. I mean (the way I race others) about has to (change if I) keep getting run into without hitting somebody else first. I guess if that’s the way we got to go about it then that’s it. 

“Last week someone had to run off and was going to try and cover it and tried to slide up and take it and realized I wasn’t going to work and left a lane. And you know what? No one hit anything until the frontstretch and then we still got slammed in the door there. At least we both made it to the line there, this one here, just to ruin both of our day or something like that. I’m struggling to understand the reasoning.”

Buescher’s driving style has been one that he’s carried from his early days. Having worked on his own cars throughout the years, he tries to take care of his equipment.

“I’ve had issues with hardly anybody out here, growing up trying to race clean and be smart about it,” Buescher explained. “I’ve had to fix my own racecars a lot growing up. And I hated trying to fix noses or fix doors. And I try to remember that for all these people, these men and women that work so hard on our cars to make them fast every week and you know you’re going to have times (when) we’re going to push and shove, but I just can’t find a reason or an excuse for that one. I just don’t know.” 

Next for the Cup Series is the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The All-Star Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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