Buescher assumed the lead among the final series of pitstops, which coincided with a caution brought out for then-leader Christopher Bell.
After Bell had inherited the lead when Brad Keselowski was forced to pit under green with a flat tyre, sparks began pouring out of the back of his Toyota Camry on Lap 436 and he tagged the wall with a flat right-rear tire, which brought out the 11th caution of the race.
Buescher was the first off pit road thanks to a two-tyre pit call but he also got a little help; two of the top contenders for the win in Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin both had problems during their respective stops that shuffled them back in the field.
Harvick had a left-front wheel come off during his stop and Hamlin overshot his stall and had to back up on pit road before completing his stop.
On the restart on Lap 444, Buescher was followed by Elliott, William Byron and Kyle Larson, as Harvick lined up 10th and Hamlin 11th due to their pitlane misfortune.
Buescher maintained his lead over Elliott, keeping the 2020 Cup champion about half a second in his wake. He then deftly navigated lapped traffic before clearing Elliott by 0.458 seconds for the win.
The victory ends a 222-race winless streak for Buescher, whose last victory – and first of his career – came in a rain-shortened race at Pocono Raceway in 2016.
Buescher, 29, becomes the 19th different race winner of the 2022 season, tying a NASCAR record. He also is the third straight non-playoff driver to win in the first three races of the 10-race playoffs, also a first.
“It’s so special here. I love this race track,” Buescher said. “I love the fans. I love every time we come here. It’s so special. It’s pretty awesome.”
Asked if he was worried about the two-tire call on his final stop, Buescher said, “I wasn’t a bit. It was up to me at that point. I made it work and we had a really fast (car). We knew we had a really fast race car in practice and didn’t quite get the job done in qualifying – but what a race car.
“I don’t know what all to say right now. I’m out of breath. This place will wear you flat-out and I love that about it. It’s just a special night."
Kyle Busch, Harvick and both Richard Childress Racing drivers, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick were eliminated from the playoffs - and thus denied them from any further contention for the series championship.
Byron ended up finishing third in the race, while Bell recovered from his earlier wall-scrape and crossed the line fourth. Bell had previously claimed the Stage 2 win, as the opening stage was claimed by Keselowski. Larson rounded out the top-five to bolster his ambitions of progressing in the playoffs.
Trackhouse's Ross Chastain also progressed to the next round of the play-offs with sixth place ahead of AJ Allmendinger, who claimed a good finish for the Kaulig Racing squad. Cole Custer, Hamlin and Harvick completed the top 10.
Advancing to the Round of 12
NASCAR Cup Bristol race results - 500 laps
|13||Brad Keselowski||Ford||3:01'20.199||1 Lap|
|14||Chase Briscoe||Ford||3:01'09.032||2 Laps|
|15||Corey Lajoie||Chevrolet||3:01'07.454||3 Laps|
|16||Harrison Burton||Ford||3:01'08.098||3 Laps|
|17||Cody Ware||Ford||3:01'09.317||3 Laps|
|18||Todd Gilliland||Ford||3:01'16.793||4 Laps|
|19||Daniel Suarez||Chevrolet||3:01'07.738||6 Laps|
|20||Austin Cindric||Ford||3:01'22.855||7 Laps|
|21||Erik Jones||Chevrolet||3:01'09.791||8 Laps|
|22||Landon Cassill||Chevrolet||3:01'14.210||8 Laps|
|23||J.J. Yeley||Ford||3:01'18.859||9 Laps|
|24||B.J. McLeod||Ford||3:01'21.966||9 Laps|
|25||Tyler Reddick||Chevrolet||3:01'13.611||31 Laps|
|26||Ty Dillon||Chevrolet||2:53'24.432||43 Laps|
|27||Joey Logano||Ford||2:52'03.251||63 Laps|
|28||Aric Almirola||Ford||2:36'38.962||82 Laps|
|29||Bubba Wallace||Toyota||3:01'17.482||92 Laps|
|30||Ryan Blaney||Ford||3:01'07.330||162 Laps|
|31||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet||1:59'17.730||221 Laps|
|32||Alex Bowman||Chevrolet||1:48'35.909||223 Laps|
|33||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Chevrolet||1:48'03.098||224 Laps|
|34||Kyle Busch||Toyota||1:42'34.767||231 Laps|
|35||Ty Gibbs||Toyota||2:30'16.097||235 Laps|
|36||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||1:10'36.433||302 Laps|
|View full results|