Chris Buescher held off a surging Chase Elliott at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night as the NASCAR playoffs’ Round of 16 wrapped up.
Buescher’s victory marked the first time in this format of the NASCAR postseason that a playoff driver failed to win a race during any round of the postseason. Erik Jones won the first race of the Round of 16 and Bubba Wallace picked up a victory last week.
“This is so special, this team does such a good job,” Buescher said of RFK Racing. “It’s special to get RFK into victory lane for the first time.”
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were eliminated from the postseason.
“This place is tough on the drivers. It’s tough on the cars,” Reddick said of Bristol. “You never know how it’s going to go.”
Harvick came into the postseason with back-to-back wins at Michigan and Richmond.
“Just went from having a chance to lead the parade to being a part of the parade,” Harvick said.
Buescher was the 19th winner of the NASCAR season. It’s been done four other times in NASCAR history. It’s the second victory over his career.
“It‘s so special here,” Buescher said, via NASCAR.com. “I love this racetrack. I love the fans. I love every time we come here. It‘s so special. It‘s pretty awesome.”
Elliott is back on top for the next round of the postseason. He talked after the race about the uncertainty of the postseason.
“I don’t think anybody is safe,” Elliott said. “Nobody is safe in these rounds. And we want to do better, too.”
Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and Austin Cindric are behind Elliott in the standings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.