Rookie driver Chris Buescher crossed the finish line first in the Children's Hospital 200 to earn his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory on Saturday. NASCAR tweeted the driver's monumental moment:
Here's a look at the race's final results:
|2014 Children's Hospital 200 Results|
While Buescher's first victory is certainly impressive, the way he finished was even more thrilling. Fighting through traffic during the waning laps of the race, the driver's fuel ran critically low—to the point where his pit crew weren't exactly sure if he'd be able to finish.
Well, as it turned out, he finished in style. After the race, he even admitted to withholding some information from his crew chief, via NASCAR on ESPN:
Take a glance at the rookie claiming his first checkered flag:
Buescher led for 25 laps before emerging victorious—a huge increase in production considering he only led for a total of five laps this season prior to Saturday's race. He explained his feelings during his win while in Victory Lane:
Legendary driver Mark Martin tweeted his delight in the race's result:
Plenty of drivers fared well on Saturday. Regan Smith had a fine showing, finishing just 1.115 seconds behind the winner despite not leading a single lap. Brian Scott may not have earned a victory, but he did come away with a third-place finish and led a race-high 39 laps.
Although, it wasn't smooth sailing for everyone. Pole-sitter Sam Hornish Jr. maintained his position in the top five for the early portion of the race; however, unfortunate engine trouble ended his race prematurely.
Buescher will certainly be a driver to watch out for the rest of the season. Here's a look at the current Nationwide standings following the Children's Hospital 200:
|Updated 2014 Nationwide Series Standings|
There isn't much of a gap remaining atop the leaderboard, but Saturday's race did result in one big shift in the standings. With the win, Buescher leaped over Brendan Gaughan to take control of the No. 7 ranking.
For now, Buescher can relish his victory. ESPN's Marty Smith noted the very fitting Twitter bio belonging to the rookie:
The Nationwide Series will move to Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday for the Food City 300. Kyle Busch has dominated the race of late, winning three times in the past four years; however, Joey Logano was able to obtain a victory for himself in 2012.
Although, there's a strong possibility we will see more shifts in the Nationwide standings in Bristol. Last year, Elliot Sadler, Brian Scott, Ty Dillon and Trevor Bayne—all currently in the Nationwide Series top-10 standings—recorded top-10 finishes at the track.
We'll find out if one of these drivers will begin to separate himself from the pack in short order.