When it was time to predict a winner for the ARCA Racing Series event last weekend on the short track at Toledo Speedway, Frank Kimmel might have been the first name to come to mind....or maybe Craig Goess, who has a few runner-up finishes to his name this year or Steve Arpin who has won a pair of races and is moonlighting as a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver for JR Motorsports.
But 17-year-old Roush Fenway Racing development driver Chris Buescher probably wouldn't have been one of your first choices. Still, the young driver beat up on the field this past weekend and dominated the Toledo race on the way to his first ARCA victory. It was a big one too.
One racing website, Stock Car Spin, even ran a story titled "Chris Buescher Just Saved Ford’s Stock Car Reputation" - claiming that the Toledo victory was Ford's first stock car win since Carl Edward won at Phoenix last fall.
Of course, that isn't exactly true as both Brad Leighton and Justin Wakefield have won PASS South events this season driving Fords, Chase Elliott has won a few races since then under the Blue Oval banner and Jeff Fultz has won twice this year with a Ford as well. But the point that Ford Racing needed a high profile victory in the stock car ranks to boost their stock is well taken.
That performance earned Chris Buescher this week's Speed51.com Pro Shocks "Shock of the Week" award.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about Buescher's performance.
"The shock of the week was most definitely Chris Buescher spanking the ARCA field at Toledo. For a (relative) unknown to come in and turn in the fastest times in practice and qualifying....then follow through with the victory....is pretty impressive when you consider the caliber of drivers he's up against. I'm sure having Roush Fenway's financial backing doesn't hurt...but money can't buy talent, and Chris Buescher
seems to have plenty of that."
Also receiving votes this week were:
Ryan Blaney (CRA) - So far this year in the CRA Southern Six-Pack Series, we have seen Augie Grill, Chase Elliott and Jeff Fultz duke it out for victories. But all three of those guys were shocked this past weekend when Ryan Blaney invaded their ranks from the PASS South Series and dominated the CAR race at Hickory. Blaney led every lap and earned an honorable mention from our panel of voters.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about Ryan Blaney's performance:
"For the shock of the week I have to say Ryan Blaney's domination of the WearCrete 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway. With veterans like Augie Grill and Jeff Fultz on his bumper he pulled away like an old pro on every restart and sailed ahead of them to coast to the checkers."
Mike Bruno (LM) - It's been awhile since we've seen former NASCAR Busch North Series regular Mike Bruno racing on asphalt. In recent seasons, he's been keeping busy driving a Dirt Modified. But last Sunday, Bruno hopped into an ACT-spec Late Model and finished a close second to Dave Pembroke on the newly paced Devil's Bowl Speedway surface in Vermont. Finishing behind Bruno? Several well-known ACT drivers including Brent Dragon, Nick Sweet, Phil Scott, Jean Paul Cyr and Joey Laquerre.
Louie Mechalides (PASS North) - We're were even expecting Louie Mechalides at the PASS North race held Saturday night at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH), but the Massachusetts speedster hopped into Brad Watson's #80 Super Late Model and finished second to four-time PASS North champion Johnny Clark. That earned him this vote:
"Louie Mechalides - for finishing second in the PASS race @ White Mountain - wish he would run the full schedule!"
Johnny Clark (PASS North) - There aren't many times that Johnny Clark would shock us by winning a race. But the four-time PASS North champion has admitted that White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) just hasn't been his cup of tea. In fact, it is extremely rare for anyone other than Ben Rowe to win there. nevertheless, Clark was very strong there on Saturday night and after 12 seasons of trying won his first feature at the track.
Clark received this vote:
"Shock - Johnny Clark at Ben's Track"
Ty Dillon (East Series) - Ty Dillon's runner-up performance in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway on Sunday earned him this vote:
"Rookie Ty Dillon starting deep in the field and almost winning in Iowa in a photo finish."
Danica Patrick (IRL) - "Danica Mania" has made it to Speed51.com. Since everyone else has been talking up the full-time IRL driver / part-time NASCAR Nationwide Series driver this year, one of our panelists threw Patrick's name into the mix for this week's pro Shock of the Week award due to her comments over the PA system at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after Indy 500 qualifying.
Here is what our voter had to say:
"I would like to vote for Danica for throwing her crew under the bus in an interview after her qualifying run at Indy on Pole Day but that doesn't really "shock" me. I was glad to see that the crowd booed her after her comments here played over the PA though."
For his “Shock” of a performance, Buescher will receive a product gift certificate from Pro Shocks, the short-track leader in racing shock technology and performance. Based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Pro Shocks has helped drivers on both dirt and asphalt perform better for more than 25 years.
Pro Shocks is proud to have the largest and most knowledgeable technical staff in the racing shock industry. For more information about Pro Shocks, log onto www.proshocks.com or call 770-995-6300.