BROOKLYN, Mich. — Chris Buescher remained in position to reach the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Barely.

Buescher felt fortunate to finish 35th on Sunday in the NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway after dealing with engine problems, and he managed to stay in 30th place in the Cup standings. As long as he stays in the top 30, he’ll be in the Chase thanks to his victory at Pocono earlier this month.

Buescher leads David Ragan by seven points for the No. 30 spot.

“It definitely could have been a lot worse,” Buescher said. “If we would have had a DNF we would have lost another five points and been right on the bubble. Unfortunately, we were too many laps down to make up anything. The way the race played out there were no wave-around opportunities, hardly any lucky dogs with those little cautions. It was kind of a wild day.”

Buescher needs to stay in the top 30 for two more races. Then the Chase begins. He was 13 points ahead of Ragan before this race.

Buescher started 21st at Michigan, but just four laps into Sunday’s race, he radioed his team of potential engine problems. By the 20th lap, he was sitting in last place.

His crew repeatedly opened the hood of his car and replaced spark plugs.

“I know it isn’t fun opening a hood of a race car that is as hot as it is and trying to work on it,” he said. “Kudos to my guys for keeping their heads down and working at it and getting it fixed. Usually when you have engine trouble you are along for the ride. It ended up being something a little bit more simple than I guess we originally figured.”

VIAThe Associated Press
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