Lexington, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie Chris Buescher conserved enough fuel late in the race and held off veterans Regan Smith and Brian Scott in the closing laps to win Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Buescher, who drives the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, became the fifth first-time race winner in the Nationwide Series this season. He joined Kyle Larson (Fontana, Calif.), Chase Elliott (Texas), Brendan Gaughan (Road America) and Ty Dillon (Indianapolis). It's the most first-time winners in the series during a season since 2006.
Starting fifth, Buescher last pitted on lap 53 of this 90-lap race. He led the final 25 laps around this 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. The 21-year-old Buescher scored his maiden Nationwide victory in his 30th career start.
"Just an awesome race," Buescher said. "This Ford Mustang was fast, and we pulled right away. We were actually cruising there at the end. My fuel pressure light started flashing at me, but I wasn't about to tell [crew chief] Scott [Graves] that."
On the final lap, Buescher got caught up in lapped traffic, as Smith began to gain on him. Buescher had to push the lapped car of Tim Cowen out of the way. He went on to beat Smith to finish line by 1.1 seconds.
"Chris drove a great race," Smith said. "He was up there smooth all day long. He was really fast. Congrats to those guys [Buescher's team]."
Scott finished third after leading the most laps with 39. On lap 59, he had to pit unexpectedly for an overheating issue. Scott had accumulated grass on his front grille when, on the lap prior, he ran slightly off the track after Alex Tagliani bumped into him.
Elliott, who's also a rookie this season, finished fourth, while Tagliani, who drove the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske in this race, placed fifth.
Justin Marks, Elliott Sadler, Dylan Kwasniewski, Trevor Bayne, who is Buescher's teammate at Roush Fenway, and Dakoda Armstrong completed the top-10.
Sam Hornish Jr., who drove the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at Mid-Ohio, started on the pole and led a total of 12 laps, but Hornish suffered engine failure in the late going and ended up finishing 30th.
Elliott remained atop the series point standings. He holds a 10-point advantage over Smith, his teammate at JR Motorsports. Sadler is 16 points behind, while Dillon trails by 28. Dillon finished 19th.