2011 Beavex sponsored Rookie of the Year Chris Buescher finished second in last season’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and was hoping for similar results in this years competition, but his day was spoiled by Bobby Gerhart’s, who charged for the win on the final lap of the day.
After starting out of the 8 hole, Busecher stayed within seconds of the lead for the majority of the race. Seven cars were within a second in the line on Lap 51, and the makeup of that group changed only when Cale Gale took his first and only pit stop for fuel on Lap 60. That move helped Buescher into fourth. A caution flag flew on Lap 69 for a Sloan Henderson crash, and Buescher improved to third when Ryan Reed drove to pit road on Lap 71 – with nine regulation laps remaining.
As the field drove under caution on Lap 74, McReynolds showed signs that he might not be able to drive to the finish, working his car to the apron, off the high Daytona banks. The green flag returned on Lap 76, with McReynolds hugging the yellow line to keep the field at bay. Buescher looked to the outside to advance from third, but Windom held him away. Buescher ended Lap 77 nearly side-by-side with Windom, but all hope would go out the window when he fell back driving the outside line.
Buescher then crashed on Lap 78, setting up a certain green-white-checkered finish to decide the race. McReynolds led Windom, Will Kimmel, and Steve Blackburn (No. 94 Harley Davidson Pikeville/Pop’s Chevrolet) for the two-lap finish, starting with Lap 82.
Gerhart led just one lap, but it was the 83rd and final one in a green-white-checkered finish, giving him his third consecutive Daytona win and his eighth overall in 25 starts since 1988.
Buescher welcomed BeavEx as a new sponsor for the 80-lap season opener. BeavEx provides specialized transportation services to the financial services industry and Fortune 1000 companies through a network of over 3000 owner/operator drivers in 43 states and 70 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, utilizing their proprietary technology solution, BeavEx Advantage.
The 19-year-old from Prosper, Texas felt he has a better shot to win this year than he did in 2011, when he chased Bobby Gerhart to the finish.
“We were excited,” he said. “Everything went pretty smoothly there. We’ve been working on this car a lot lately. It’s the same car we had here last year, and we’ve made some improvements. By ourselves, we were faster in practice this year, so I think we have a better shot this year than we did last year as long as all the cards fall our way again.”
Buescher hopes to run all 20 races in 2012. Referencing his unveiling as the Rookie of the Year last December at ARCA’s Championship Awards Banquet.
The five caution flags slowed the race for 25 laps. The event finished in one hour, 33 minutes, and 51 seconds, at an average speed of 132.745 mph.
BeavEx Incorporated based in Atlanta, Georgia is a non-asset based provider of local route-based, same day transportation and logistics services, picking up and delivering mission critical packages for financial services, pharmaceutical, retail/distribution, clinical lab and critical parts customers across the United States.
For more information, please visit www.beavex.com.