NNS: Will the Next Contender Please Stand Up?

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, Northeast 0 Comments

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — official release — Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images photo — While in recent weeks this year’s title chase has focused on the top five in points, this time around we’d like to take an in-depth look at the drivers from sixth – 10th in the driver standings.

Sixth – Brian Scott – in his second full-season with Richard Childress Racing, Scott has posted three top fives and 11 top 10s in 20 starts. Scott is currently tied with fifth-place Trevor Bayne in points and is 41 points back from the standings lead. Scott continues to get hot as the season progresses. Of his 11 top-10 finishes, 10 of them have come in the last 13 races. In last season’s final 13 events, Scott posted four top 10s and an average finish of 12.5.

Seventh – Chris Buescher – in his Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign for Roush Fenway Racing, Buescher has posted two top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 13.3 in 19 starts. Buescher is currently seventh in points, 87 points back from sixth-place Brian Scott, and is 128 points back from the standings lead. Buescher’s highlight of 2014 so far has been his second-place finish at Talladega. It will be Buescher’s series debut at WGI this weekend.

Eighth – Brendan Gaughan – is the veteran driver at Richard Childress Racing these days and his recent success is proving it. Gaughan has posted one win and four top 10s this season. He is currently eighth in points, two points back from Chris Buescher, and is 130 points back from the standings lead. Gaughan’s lone win this season came at the last road course the series visited, Road America. He has made three series starts at WGI, posting an average finish of 22.0.

Ninth – Ryan Reed – is Roush Fenway Racing’s second Sunoco Rookie candidate competing this season. Reed’s 2014 season has amassed one top five and an average finish of 17.2 in 20 starts. Reed is currently ninth in points, 46 behind Gaughan and 176 back from the standings lead. Reed’s highlight of 2014 so far has been his fourth-place finish at Daytona in July. It will be Reed’s series debut at WGI this weekend.

Tenth – James Buescher – the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and cousin of fellow driver Chris Buescher has posted one top 10 and an average finish of 17.5 this season. Buescher is currently 10th in the standings, five points back from Ryan Reed and 181 points back from the standings lead. James has one series start at WGI in 2011, where he started 10th but finished 17th.

Which one of these five has a chance to break into the front five before the season’s end? Stay tuned.

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