Buescher wins Bristol. Harvick, Busch, RCR out of the playoffs

Bristol, Tenn (AFP) – Chris Boecher closed out the bizarre first round of NASCAR qualifying in which none of the title contenders won a race to become the 19th winner of the season with a win Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Buescher’s second career win was the first in this form of NASCAR’s postseason where a playoff driver failed to win a race during a round. Eric Jones won the opening match and Bubba Wallace won last week.

Buescher won for RFK Racing, the longtime Jack Roche-owned team that faced Brad Kieselowski in the property group this season, giving the organization their first win in a Points Payout Cup race in more than five years. Buescher and Keselowski both won a pair of show races for RFK in Daytona in February.

“This is very special, this team is doing a good job,” said Buescher, who won a late call to get two tires on the last stop. “It is special that RFK is entering the victory lane for the first time.”

The bout on the Bristol Short Course was the first NASCAR Qualifiers playoff race and was a nail-biting finish to the finish as no fewer than ten of the 16 title contenders faced some kind of problem. There was a rash of flat tires for Ford drivers, mechanical problems for a Toyota, and engine failure for Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Racing both of whom were involved in an accident.

The field of 16 drivers was cut by four, and left out of the playoffs were Kevin Harvick, Bush and his RCR teammates Austin Dillon and Tyler Riddick.

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