NASCAR: 5 drivers for Chase Elliott fans to root for in the playoffs

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, NASCAR
Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott fans can root for: No. 2 – Chris Buescher

Everybody loves a feel-good story, and that’s what Chris Buescher and RFK Racing have been over the last few weeks. And their story goes beyond a feel-good story. The only question is whether it ends with a championship that nobody could have seen coming.

A year ago, Buescher had just one career win and one career playoff berth, both coming in 2016 when he won a rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway. In fact, when Brad Keselowski joined the team as a driver and co-owner in 2022, there was speculation as to who the second driver would be.

For as consistent as Buescher had been, as somebody who had flown under the radar for much of his career, he was the perfect candidate for silly season “hot seat” talks. But the team, Keselowski included, made clear that Buescher was their man. Their faith has been rewarded.

Since last September, Buescher has made four trips to victory lane, including two this summer and three in the five most recent races. In fact, he hasn’t failed to win an oval race since July 23.

His connection with Chase Elliott is also an interesting one. Elliott and Buescher were both rookies in the 2016, and they were the only two rookies in the playoffs. In fact, it took another four years for any other rookie to get to the postseason.

Now the former has missed out on the playoffs for the first time in his career, while the latter is back for the first time since.

And while Buescher had just two wins in seven seasons entering the race at Richmond Raceway in late July, he’s not your typical “first round exit” material like we so often see from certain drivers who get to the playoffs with a surprise win.

His multiple wins and significant haul of playoff points have him positioned as the number four seed, and four drivers make it to the Championship 4 finale at Phoenix Raceway.