Strengths – Chris Buescher takes care of his equipment and most weekends he’s capable of coming home with a respectable result, if you’re keeping the bar pretty low. Typically on a weekly basis you can count on him being a high-teens to low-twenties driver.
Weaknesses – Chris Buescher doesn’t have a very high performance ceiling, at any track. In order for him to finish better than the high-teens /low-twenties the attrition rate needs to be high, or something goofy needs to happen in the race.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Medium
Just like his teammate AJ Allmendinger, in 2018 you should look for Chris Buescher to be a high-teens to low-twenties driver on a weekly basis at intermediate tracks. Performance wise it’s essentially how he stacks up against the competition. In 2017 in his incident free races on this track type he almost always finished within that range.
Last year at these venues Buescher scored the 24th most points, had a 20.7 average finish and a 23.2 average running position. Among the 17 races he only had two top fifteen finishes (6th at Michigan #2 and 6th at Kansas #2) and I would simply view those as extreme outliers because of how those races played out.
I just don’t see any upside in picking Buescher at these tracks, but I’ll note Hendrick’s engineering alliance with his team should help some. One attribute that I’ll note I do like about him is that he does a good job taking care of his equipment. Last year at these venues only twice did he finish in the thirties.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – Low
Flat tracks were a key weakness for Buescher last year. He scored the 29th most points and had a 23.9 average finish. No driver on a competitive team scored less points than him. His teammate AJ Allmendinger scored the 28th most points so that should really tell you something. Hopefully his teams new technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports can help him run better at these venues in 2018.
Last year at big flat tracks Buescher had his one top ten of the nine races on this track type in 2017. At Indy in a super high attrition race he finished 9th. In 2016 at Indy he finished 14th.
Pocono is the site of Buescher’s one career victory, which was of course a fluke that happened because he got a pit penalty which put him out of sync with the field, which allowed him to stretch his fuel. Last year Buescher had uninspiring results of 19th and 28th.
At shorter flat tracks last year over the six combined races he only had one top twenty result and a 26.5 average finish. He simply wasn’t competitive at those venues.
In 2018 at flat tracks in general I’m just going to view him as a low-twenties driver and hope for the best.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Medium
At short tracks in order to be competitive Buescher would likely need the help of attrition. Last year he scored the 28th most points and had a 24.5 average finish. Outside of the spring Martinsville race where he finished 11th all of his other results were 17th or worse.
In 2018 I think he’ll have some upside at Martinsville since his organization knows how to setup cars there, but other than that he’s a driver who should likely be left on your bench.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Medium
At plate tracks Chris Buescher has more than done his fair share of wrecking. Last year on this track type he scored the 26th most points. That’s an improvement over his 2016, 36th place rankings.
Daytona has been the tougher of the two venues for him. Last summer he finished 10th, that’s surprising when you consider in his other three starts he finished 35th or worse.
At Talladega, Buescher has a 23.0 average finish. Last year he finished in the teens twice with results of 15th and 17th.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – Medium-High
Last year at road courses Buescher scored the 17th most points, had a 15.0 average finish and had a result in the top 20 both races.
Last year at Watkins Glen he legitimately finished 11th, and at Sonoma he finished 19th.
In 2018 from a performance perspective I think he might challenge for a mid-teens finish at Watkins Glen and Charlotte, at Sonoma he’ll probably be about a 20th place driver.