Week 25 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Buescher Wins (again) Michigan, MTJ Remains P1

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readAug 11, 2023

6 August 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

BROOKLYN, MI — In an epic final green-flag run to the finish, Chris Buescher held off hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. to win his second straight Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Raceway.

At 13 laps to go, Truex had a run at the lead after Buescher slipped up track off Turn 4, and Truex pulled alongside. Truex’s №19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota edged ahead to the inside, but Buescher held his line and kept Truex beside him for nearly two laps.

Rounding Turn 4 on Lap 188 of 400, Buescher held Truex’s car to the bottom of the track, forcing Truex to slip and lift off the gas. Truex also had to clear the lapped car of Michael McDowell as Buescher opened a gap of 10 car-lengths. Truex tried but couldn’t close the gap and Buescher gets back to back wins.

Week 24 NASCAR GFT Top 26 AI Driver Rankings following the FireKeepers 400 at Michigan International Raceway on August 6, 2023 (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

After post-race inspection was complete and results official, our GFT NASCAR AI Models started working on updated rankings. No change in the top 7 spots (Truex Jr, Byron, Hamlin, Busch, Larson, Bell Chastain) but the Chris Buescher takes his back to back wins and jumps 4 spots to P8, Blaney falls to P9, and Harvick moves up 1 spot to P10.

At the Cut Off line, Rookie Ty Gibbs takes his 11th place finish Sunday and moves above the line to P16 while Michael McDowell’s 24th place finish drops him out of the playoffs at P17.

With bleak results leading into the Summer stretch, Ford and specifically, RFK Racing has put driver Chris Buescher in Victory lane 2 weeks in a row.

Chris Buescher, driver of the №17 Castrol Edge Ford, leads Martin Truex Jr., driver of the №19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Image Credit: Meg Oliphant, Getty Images)

Buescher Victory Lane Quotes:
“This Castrol Mustang was so good in practice, qualifying,” said Buescher, who grabbed his 4th career victory. “Gave me a great car again. Had to work for that one, too, hard racing at the end.

“Martin was very clean with me. I appreciate that. Get to go to Victory Lane two weeks in a row. That’s pretty awesome.”

Chris Buescher, driver of the №17 Castrol Edge Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Image Credit: Jonathan Bachman, Getty Images)

GFT Manufacturers Box Score

GFT NASCAR Manufacturers Box Score after Week 25 FireKeepers 400 at Michigan International Raceway

NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer WINS
Chevrolet = 14
Toyota = 8
Ford = 6

3 Races Remain if the Regular Season

Two road courses and the Daytona superspeedway means CHAOS will be the lead story line as NASCAR wraps up the Regular Season. Who will lock in? Who will lose a chance to race for the Cup Series championship?



Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association