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NASCAR Cup: COVID-19 sidelines Chris Buescher for inaugural race at WWT Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 16: Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, speaks to the media during the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)


Chris Buescher has been sidelined for Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300, the first NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, after testing positive for COVID-19. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Zane Smith will, instead, drive the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford in place of Buescher in Sunday’s race.

Smith is a three-time winner in Truck Series competition in 11 races, so far, this season. He finished ninth in the Truck Series race at WWT Raceway on Saturday. Sunday’s race will be Smith’s Cup Series debut.

“First off, I hope Chris has a fast recovery,” Smith said on Twitter (@ZaneSmith77). “I can’t help but be excited and reflect on how lucky I am for this opportunity. There’s been countless times where I thought my career was coming to an end and I didn’t know what was next. All I’ve ever wanted to do was race on Sundays. To do it for a team like RFK is unbelievable. I can’t think Bob Jenkins (Truck Series team owner), Front Row Motorsports and everyone who’s helped get me to this point in my career. Brad Keselowski, Ford and RFK, I hope to make the most out of this opportunity.”

Smith qualified 32nd Saturday for his Cup Series debut.

Buescher is 21st in the Cup Series driver standings with three top-10 finishes in the first 14 races of the season. He hopes to be back behind the wheel of the No. 17 for the next race on the schedule, a June 12 date at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

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Posted by on June 5, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.