FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Chris Buescher grew up winning legends car races at Texas Motor Speedway, on the fifth-mile track outside and sometimes on the quarter-mile layout that incorporates the main track's frontstretch.
The 23-year-old Bueshcer is now trying to win a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
''It's what I hoped for,'' Buescher said. ''I didn't have clue back then that it was going to work out, even to this point.''
Buescher, who grew up in nearby Prosper, Texas, returns to his home track Saturday with three races remaining and the series points lead. Defending champion Chase Elliott is 27 points back, and Regan Smith trails by 33 points.
While Buescher has been pretty open about how much he hates racing for points instead of going all-out for victories, he understands he has to go against his instincts a bit a bit with the season winding down.
''I don't like having a car capable of winning and just running third with it because that's safe. That hurts me,'' he said. ''But I understand there's a bigger picture, and it's what we've got to go after.''
Buescher took over the series lead in mid-May with his win at Iowa and has held on since in the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. He has two wins and 20 top-10 finishes, including 10 in the last 11 races.
''We've been extremely consistent finish-wise. We've run better than where we've finished, and we've been running solidly in the top 10,'' Buescher said. ''I have no doubt that we'll be competitive enough to pull it off. It's just going to be a matter of staying out of trouble.''
While Jack Roush has talked about Buescher being ready for the next level, and RFR Cup driver Carl Edwards has touted his talent, Buescher is still unsure when he will be moving to the Sprint Cup Series. The team owner hasn't told him.
''I'm trying to block it out right now,'' he said with a smile. ''It's coming up, people are talking about, and that's fine. We're going to talk about it. I'm curious. I'm not going to lie about that, I'd like to know what his plans are, if I could ever get him to tell me.''
Still, Buescher doesn't want to rush the process if it's not time, or the right opportunity. He said he is more than willing to run another Xfinity season if that is the plan.
''More seat time, it's definitely a help,'' he said. ''It better be the right (opportunity), and you better be ready.''