TOLEDO, Ohio – One race remains in ARCA’s 60th Anniversary Season, and Chris Buescher’s vision of becoming the series’ 30th different champion is as clear as it’s ever been.
Buescher’s 85-point lead atop the standings after last month’s race at Salem Speedway is greater than any other lead by a first-place driver in the 17 races prior to that event. Friday, he will race in the Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway with a chance to win the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title just 10 days before turning 20 years old.
Buescher will clinch the championship by finishing 12th or higher, regardless of any other driver’s result in the 99-lap, 148.5-mile race. In 52 career ARCA starts, Buescher has finished in the top 12 on 44 occasions, a success rate of 84.6 percent. He has finished in the top 12 in each of his last seven starts and in 15 of 18 races this season, a similar success rate of 83.3 percent.
The top four drivers in the standings remain eligible for the championship; however, fourth-place driver Alex Bowman will drop from contention if fewer than 40 cars enter and start Friday’s race.
Frank Kimmel is 85 points behind in second. Numerous scenarios in which Kimmel can clinch his 10th title do exist, but the veteran would have to finish at least 12 positions ahead of Buescher to have a chance.
Brennan Poole is third, 175 points out of the lead, and would need to finish at least 30 spots ahead of Buescher and 13 in front of Kimmel for an opportunity. Bowman stands 220 points below Buescher.