By AMANDA VINCENT
Recently crowned NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chris Buescher will go full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing in 2016, as he’ll take over the driving duties of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford. The deal that puts Buescher in the No. 34 next season is a partnership between Roush Fenway Racing and Front Row Motorsports that will have RFR providing engineering, equipment and driver support to FRM.
“We are thrilled to announce this alliance,” Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark said. “Not only will it foster increased communication within the Ford camp, it will allow our newest champion, Chris Buescher, to continue to hone his skills with substantial seat time behind the wheel in the Sprint Cup Series. in top-grade equipment.”
Buescher, who drove the No. 60 Roush Fenway Ford in Xfinity Series competition in 2014 and 2015 will remain in the RFR stable. The possibility of Buescher running select Xfinity Series races in 2016 is unknown.
Buescher was he Xfinity (then-Nationwide) Series Rookie of the year in 2014, posting a win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington. In 2015, he won at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Iowa Speedway in Newton and finished in the top-20 in all 33 races on this year’s schedule on his way to his first NASCAR national-level title.
Buescher drove the No. 34 in the six Sprint Cup races in 2015 after the car’s former driver, David Ragan, vacated the seat to fill-in for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and then take over driving duties of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota vacated by Brian Vickers for medical reasons. Buescher’s best finish in the No. 34 was a 20th-place showing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
A press release from Front Row Motorsports implies that FRM will be a two-car team next year, stating, “Plans for Front Row Motorsports’ second Sprint Cup Series entry will be announced at a later date.” The team fielded three cars in 2015.
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