Charlotte, NC — April 9, 2020
A question that pops up occasionally at NASCAR media events goes something like this. “On the track, you drive a Ford Mustang, what do you have parked in your garage at home?” For Chris Buescher, Roush Fenway Ford Mustang Cup Series driver, it’s all about his roots.
“I’m definitely a truck person,” said Buescher, who grew up in Prosper, TX, before moving to North Carolina as a teenager to pursue a career in stock car racing. “My wife’s first car was a ’67 Mustang, so we have that, but we don’t drive it much at all.”
Instead, he opts for his 2015 F-350 Super Duty that serves not only as his daily driver but also dominates as the workhorse for moving equipment, hauling materials, and carrying away debris from the recently purchased farm he and wife Emma bought last year.
“It was really nothing but a piece of dirt that had an old pole barn and a foundation dug in with some pre-fabbed walls, so we crushed all the concrete and filled that hole in,” said Buescher, who plans on filling the 100-acre property with some cattle, goats, horses, and donkeys to go along with the chickens already on site. “We’ve dug some ponds so that we can get the animals out here in the future, and we’re working on getting some fencing up so that we can start containing everything a little bit.”
As a result, his truck has been working overtime on the farm while also making the two-hour roundtrip drive to the Roush Fenway shop and Concord Regional Airport on a regular basis.
Love My Ford F-350
“I just like having the power to do what you do and hook up. The suspension stuff on them is really heavy-duty without being a harsh ride day-to-day,” analyzed Buescher, now in his first season driving the No. 17 Fastenal Mustang for car owner Jack Roush. “My F-350 is comfortable to get in and go anywhere, but we put a lot of heavy loads on it around the farm as well. We’ve got a dump trailer we’ve hooked to it quite a bit. We’ve got a 48-foot flatbed that we pile stuff on and tow around, and it handles everything really well. It’s a single rear-wheel truck, too, which is nice because I can run it through a car wash.
“I’m in the process of putting on a big cattle guard to make it look as Texas as possible, and that’s pretty much my driver right now,” said Buescher, who also has an F-150 Raptor that is a symbol from winning the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. “We’ve just got a bunch of pickups.”
Included in that list is a 2008 F-250 that Buescher bought with something in the neighborhood of 35,000 miles on it five years ago. The six-speed model was the last generation of diesel pickups to have a manual transmission option, and Buescher has worked on it to the point that he estimates it can generate 850 horsepower and 1400-foot pounds of torque. He sheepishly calls it his personal toy and something that’s “not really daily driver material.”
“This sounds ridiculous, but I feel like I get a little claustrophobic when I get in small vehicles on the roadways,” said Buescher. “I don’t know if it’s the fact that you know you’re gonna get stuck behind a truck at some point where you can’t see or what, but I like to be able to see all the time. That’s why I usually get in the truck because I have a lot better vision and it’s a lot better feel for me.”
And it’s also better for pulling things like trailers that hold your race cars, which is what the Buescher family had as Chris climbed through the ranks as a kid. Chris’ dad, Jim, got tired of cramming 50cc dirt bikes into the back of the family SUV, so when his son started oval racing and competing in Legends cars he bought an F-150 and never looked back.
“Dad had a little bit of everything in terms of trucks,” said Chris. “We had an F-150 Heritage Edition for a long time and then when we started traveling the country we bought an actual semi-trailer rig to carry all of our stuff.”
Now, it’s not like Buescher has never driven anything else. He owned a Fusion for about six months back when he was first hired by Roush in 2011 and used it to drive back and forth to the race shop to save money on gas. He was happy with the results as he nearly tripled his gas mileage compared to the F-250 he was driving at the time, but it was short-lived.
“I really tried to like it. It saved me a ton of money, but I was like, ‘Man, I can’t do this. I’ve got to get back in a truck,’” he recounted. “I realized that I don’t mind the added expense of having something that’s just more comfortable for me to drive on a day to day basis.”
In other words, it just wasn’t the same.
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