NASCAR at Bristol 2022 Results: Chris Buescher Earns 2nd Cup Series Win of Career

Adam WellsSeptember 18, 2022

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 17: Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 17, 2022 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Logan Riely/Getty Images

Chris Buescher took the checkered flag at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race in Bristol, Tennessee, on Saturday night.

Buescher's win is just the second of his NASCAR Cup Series career. He previously won the Pennsylvania 400 as a rookie in 2016. The 29-year-old is the third straight non-playoff driver to win in the Round of 16, joining Bubba Wallace and Erik Jones.

RFK Racing @RFKracing

OH MY GOSHHHHHHH <a href="https://t.co/QKlXwJ5XPP">pic.twitter.com/QKlXwJ5XPP</a>

This race was also notable for being the final leg of the first round of the playoffs, with the field being cut from 16 to 12 based on the point standings after this result.

Kevin Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series champion, was first on the cut line coming into Bristol. He was 35 points behind Austin Cindric in the No. 12 spot. The other three drivers facing elimination—Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Chase Briscoe—were all within nine points of advancing.

Briscoe put himself in a good position to make a move after qualifying in the No. 2 spot. Aric Almirola, who did not make the playoff field, won the pole position.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race Final Leaderboard

1. Chris Buescher

2. Chase Elliott

3. William Byron

4. Christopher Bell

5. Kyle Larson

6. Ross Chastain

7. A.J. Allemndinger

8. Cole Custer

9. Denny Hamlin

10. Kevin Harvick

Full leaderboard available at NASCAR.com.

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings (Total Points)

1. Chase Elliott (3,040)

2. Joey Logano (3,025)

3. Ross Chastain (3,020)

4. Kyle Larson (3,019)

5. William Byron (3,015)

6. Denny Hamlin (3,013)

7. Christopher Bell (3,013)

8. Ryan Blaney (3,013)

9. Chase Briscoe (3,009)

10. Alex Bowman (3,007)

11. Daniel Suárez (3,007)

12. Austin Cindric (3,006)

Full standings available at NASCAR.com.

This was the best performance of Buescher's career and a banner night for RFK Racing with Brad Keselowski.

Joseph Srigley @joe_srigley

Tonight at <a href="https://twitter.com/BMSupdates?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BMSupdates</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/RFKracing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RFKracing</a> has led 191 laps between <a href="https://twitter.com/Chris_Buescher?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chris_Buescher</a> (108) and <a href="https://twitter.com/keselowski?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@keselowski</a> (83).<br><br>It's the most laps the team has led in a NASCAR Cup Series event in 10-plus years, dating back to the 2012 Coke 600 (204 LL).<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a> | 📸: <a href="https://twitter.com/JonMcCoyPhoto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonMcCoyPhoto</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bw8IaawyyL">pic.twitter.com/Bw8IaawyyL</a>

Buescher began the race from the No. 20 position and climbed all the way up to the top spot in the first stage. He wound up blowing by his previous career-high total for laps led set earlier this year.

Daniel McFadin @danielmcfadin

The 45 laps Buescher has led tonight are already the second most of his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCAR</a> Cup career.<br><br>The most: 57 at Homestead in 2022.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BristolNightRace?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BristolNightRace</a>

Chase Elliott was the only driver who finished within one second of Buescher (0.458 seconds). Keselowski fell off the pace in the final stage after experiencing issues with his car. He ultimately finished 13th overall, but he did get a point bump from winning the first stage.


The leader suffers an issue and we stay green! <a href="https://t.co/4tzlLMZqjq">pic.twitter.com/4tzlLMZqjq</a>

Elliott's second-place finish and seven bonus points in stage two pushed him all the way up to first place in the playoff standings. The Hendricks Motorsports star began the day 12 points behind Christopher Bell for the top spot, but he's now 15 points ahead of No. 2 Joey Logano.

Things got very close for Dillon after the second stage. He was one point behind Daniel Suárez for the 12th and final spot.


The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NASCARPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NASCARPlayoffs</a> bubble after Stage 2:<a href="https://twitter.com/KyleBusch?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KyleBusch</a> +15<a href="https://twitter.com/ChaseBriscoe_14?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChaseBriscoe_14</a> +11<a href="https://twitter.com/Blaney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Blaney</a> +6<a href="https://twitter.com/Daniel_SuarezG?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Daniel_SuarezG</a> +1<br>---<a href="https://twitter.com/austindillon3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@austindillon3</a> -1<a href="https://twitter.com/TylerReddick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TylerReddick</a> -13<a href="https://twitter.com/AustinCindric?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AustinCindric</a> -24<a href="https://twitter.com/KevinHarvick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KevinHarvick</a> -37

Some of the drama was gone by the final stretch of the race, as Suarez wound up finishing in the 19th spot and Dillon was No. 31 in the standings.

Briscoe was the only driver on the brink of elimination who was able to climb out of the bottom four. He racked up 15 points in the two stages and finished 14th in the race. The 27-year-old moved up to ninth overall in the point standings.

Tyler Reddick fell from the 11th spot in the playoff standings to No. 13 and missing the cut after another rough outing. He finished 25th in Bristol, coming on the heels of a 35th-place finish at Kansas last week.

The first race in the Round of 12 playoffs will be at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25.