Buescher rallies to win NASCAR Xfinity race in Iowa
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) Chris Buescher needed someone to screw up.
Two drivers involved in a scary incident Saturday teamed up for another crash that gave Buescher the break he was looking for.
Buescher pulled away on a restart in a green-white-checkered finish Sunday to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Iowa Speedway.
Buescher raced to his first victory of the season and gave Roush-Fenway Racing its fifth Iowa win in 11 starts.
It also put Buescher atop the points standings by eight points over Ty Dillon.
''I'm not sure what it is about this place that the Roush cars seem to run so well at. But this is a big step for us,'' Buescher said.
Chase Elliott appeared poised for an easy win, but a late caution caused when Jamie Dick and Ross Chastain wrecked instead forced overtime.
Buescher was the beneficiary. He took advantage with a perfectly executed restart - aided greatly by a push from teammate Bubba Wallace.
''When that happened, I knew we had a great shot on the restart,'' Buescher said.
Elliott finished second after leading a race-high 114 laps. Erik Jones was third, followed by Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney.
As the first Xfinity event of the year that didn't share a track with a Sprint Cup race, Iowa gave series regulars a chance to run without being overshadowed by the sport's more established stars.
With the day to itself, NASCAR's second-tier series put on one of its best shows of the year.
Drew Herring qualified the No. 20 car first Saturday while Jones backed up Kyle Busch at the Sprint Cup All-Star race in Charlotte. But the driver switch forced Jones to start at the rear of the field.
Buescher grabbed an early lead, only to watch Elliott pass him for an advantage he kept for a third of the race.
A strong pit stop gave Buescher the lead back with about 100 laps left.
But Brennan Poole was subsequently black-flagged by NASCAR after it said he intentionally hit JJ Yeley, sending him into the wall.
It appeared to be retaliation by Poole for a two-car crash involving the pair earlier in the race.
''We just got into it. Just part of racing. I hate that it happened between me and JJ, but that's just how it goes sometimes,'' Poole said.
Elliott eventually caught Buescher and was running so far in front that only a caution could stop him.
Unfortunately for Elliott, that's what happed.
Dick, whose windshield was destroyed when a weight from Ross Chastain's car flew through it Saturday during practice, got tangled up again with Chastain.
That incident drew the flag that raised Buescher's hopes and dashed Elliott's.
''I was waiting on that break. It just seemed like we needed that,'' Buescher said. ''That's exactly what had to happen.''
Wallace finished sixth. Ben Rhodes, who received his high school diploma during driver introductions, was seventh in his series debut.
Fellow first-timer Brandon Jones was eighth.