LOUDON, N.H. — In typical New England weather fashion, Mother Nature has decided to wreak havoc on the NASCAR Cup Series USA Today 301 race qualifying on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Drivers did not have the opportunity to compete for the pole in the wet conditions on the track. So, under NASCAR rules, Cup series points leader Chase Elliott led the field, with last week’s winner Ryan Blaney sharing the front row.

Without qualifying, drivers will have the opportunity to get some laps of practice before the Xfinity Series race on Saturday afternoon.

Based on the Cup Series standings, Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Ford Mustang will start in 15th position on Sunday, having finished 18th in the inaugural Iowa Speedway race.

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“With our run last week, we’re not going to be in a bad spot setting the grid there,” Buescher told NESN.com. “That’s okay for a starting spot for us. Practice will be good to where we have time to try and get some things out and I really hope that works out for us.”

In 10 previous races at New Hampshire, Buescher’s best finish came last season when he placed 15th at the famous Magic Mile track. While having a shot at a better starting position with qualifying would have been nice, Buescher would rather have the practice.

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“We’ll try and figure out what we need to do to make our Mustang better here than we’ve been in the past,” Buescher said. “It’s not been my best track so I’ll take the practice here.”

While the track temperatures were in the 60s on Saturday, Buescher said he heard a couple of fans joking that it was going to snow later in the evening, which wouldn’t be too far of a stretch in New England.

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“On the track, this has been a very hot race through the years, and I know it’s been hard on the fans, and we appreciate them hanging out with us and during, but it does create some fun racing when it’s that hot,” Buescher said. “(Sunday’s) weather, it looks like the heat’s gonna come back up, not brutal, but on the hotter side of things and I hope it does stay that way because I do feel like this old surface, with some heat in it does create a better race for us.”

Buescher added: “If it gets too cold, and it grips up just a little too much, I feel like it becomes a little bit harder to pass. I’m a fan of the heat. It’s not fun inside the car. I know it’s not fun sitting on metal bleacher stands but I think it creates better racing for us ultimately.”

Due to the ever-changing weather pattern in New Hampshire, NASCAR has moved up the start of the race to 2:06 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images