LEXINGTON, Ohio – As the laps dwindled, Chris Buescher’s anxiety rose.

The 21-year-old rookie was leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course — gunning for his first victory — but was running out of fuel.

“I was really focusing on taking deep breaths at that point,” Buescher said about the final laps of his victory Saturday in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200. “I found myself on every straightaway just telling myself to relax a little bit.”

Buescher took the lead on the 68th of 90 laps and conserved fuel to hold off runner-up Regan Smith and third-place Brian Scott. Derrike Cope of Spanaway was 32nd of 39.

Save 75% on a Digital Subscription Today

Smith, in particular, was waiting for Buescher to run out of gas.

“I don’t know for the life of me how the 60 (Buescher) made it on fuel because nobody else in the field was even near that fuel mileage,” Smith said