With the 2017 season firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to reflect on what happened. What else are we going to talk about?
Points Position: 27th
Stage Points: 21
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 5
Average Starting Position: 23.9
Average Finish: 22
Highlight: Allmendinger’s season got off to a great start with a third-place finish in the Daytona 500. He also finished sixth at Martinsville in the spring.
Those were his two best finishes of the season.
Lowlight: There was a lot of bad in Allmendinger’s season. He had three-straight finishes outside the top 20 after Daytona. And he had four finishes in the 30s in the five races after Martinsville. Despite two top-10 finishes through the first 11 races of the season, he was 30th in the points standings after Kansas.
He never got any higher than 26th the rest of the season. A run of three-straight DNFs thanks to crashes at Talladega, Kansas and Martinsville in the fall sealed his fate at the bottom of the top 30.
Points Position: 25th
Stage Points: 0
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 4
Average Starting Position: 25.3
Average Finish: 21.4
Highlight: Buescher had a nice run over July and August, finishing ninth at Indianapolis, and then 11th at Watkins Glen and sixth at Michigan. It was by far the best stretch of his season and it was clear that he and crew chief Trent Owens had found some speed that his teammate hadn’t.
Lowlight: Buescher’s season got off to a rough start. He didn’t finish inside the top 20 until the sixth race of the season and didn’t get his second top-20 finish until Richmond, the ninth race of the season.
But once he climbed inside the top 30 in the points standings after that Martinsville spring race, he never fell out. Maybe that speaks more to the level of competition than Buescher’s success, but the rookie was strikingly consistent, especially when compared to his teammate.
Buescher had four DNFs in 36 races, one fewer than Allmendinger. Crazily enough, they also nearly completed the same number of laps. Buescher completed 9,948 of 10,581 laps while Allmendinger completed 9,941.
The two drivers are back for the 2018 season and we’ll see what improvements JTG can make in a second season as a two-car team. Team co-owner Tad Geschickter told Motorsport.com in November that the team would have a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports while still using Earnhardt-Childress engines. The team used Richard Childress Racing chassis in 2017.
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