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Buescher Wins Home-State Pole

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 9 2011

James Buescher got his first NASCAR pole and he got it in his home state of Texas on Thursday. (Chris Graythen for Getty Images)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

Fort Worth, Texas – If James Buescher truly is the proverbial win-waiting-to-happen, he’s picked the perfect locale for all parties concerned.

After scoring his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole Thursday evening at Texas Motor Speedway, the native Texan began focusing on Friday night’s 15th annual WinStar World Casino 400k as a timely breakthrough victory for himself and his Turner Motorsports team.

“Our truck’s really fast,” said Buescher, who toured the 1.5-mile TMS quadoval in 30.160-seconds and 179.045 mph to bag his first Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Award. “Everything that we’ve got going on right now, our 1.5-mile (program) is definitely the strongest. With Hendrick Motorsports under the hood we’ve got a lot of power down the straightaways. And hopefully our new truck is fast enough to close the deal. Maybe we’re on the right track to get to Victory Lane.”

Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Wolfpack Rentals Chevrolet Silverado, earned his first NCWTS pole in his 56th attempt. His previous best Truck Series start at TMS was third in this event last year. Buescher finished sixth in both Truck Series races here last year en route to an 11th-place point finish, despite not competing in the season’s first three events.

Buescher, 21, qualified on-pole here for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series event on Nov. 6, 2010 – a day cut short after an accident 41 laps into the 200-lapper.

“I guess we weren’t supposed to win a (Truck Series) pole before Texas,” said Buescher, who will be joined in the front row by Joey Coulter in the No. 22 American Eurocopter Chevy. “It’s really cool for myself, Wolfpack Rentals and Turner Motorsports. Steve and Sandra Turner live in Texas, Wolfpack is based out of Texas and I grew up right down the road in Plano.

“We have a really, really fast truck. We were fastest in the (first) practice session and second in the other one. So to get the pole kind of shows how strong our truck really is. I got to thank all the guys who put in the hard work. It’s a brand-new truck; first time it was on the track was today. We’re really on a roll lately and to come here and get a pole after all the top-fives we’ve been getting really boosts our confidence even more.”

Buescher, who is working with crew chief Michael Shelton, topped the first practice at 179.253 mph and placed second to Cole Whitt (176.788 mph) in the final session at 175.896 mph. Whitt trails championship leader Johnny Sauter by 12 points heading into Friday night’s 167-lapper.

“Qualifying is based on practice speeds and our fastest lap of the day was Lap 3, I think,” said Buescher, who is seventh in series points. “That was the first run of the day, right off the truck. We’ve been fighting a loose truck but it’s been really, really fast. We snugged-it-up, made it more stable and I think where we’re at in our race trim we should be pretty good for tomorrow night’s race. Based on what the track did last year from practice to race time is kind of what we went off of to where we want our balance. I feel like our truck’s going to be pretty fast tomorrow night as well.”

Buescher finished fourth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway last Saturday, with Coulter placing fifth for Richard Childress Racing.

Rookie Coulter’s hot lap Thursday of 30.256-seconds and 178.477 mph earned him his fifth top-10 start of 2011. “That run in Kansas definitely pumped us all up,” said Coulter, a 21-year-old native of Miami Springs, Fla. “Everybody kind of chased the track in practice. (Crew chief) Harold Holly made a great call before qualifying to get the truck dialed-in. It was a great lap. We’re real excited for tomorrow. Think it’s going to be a blast.”

Rounding out the qualifying podium was Austin Dillon at 30.271-seconds and 178.389 mph in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet.

”Shoot, it’s easy going wide-open around here, especially right now since it cooled down,” said Dillon, the 21-year-old nephew of team-owner Richard Childress. Dillon started on-pole and finished third in this event last June.

“Today it was kind of hard chasing the track conditions with the heat,” said Dillon, the 2010 NCWTS Rookie of the Year. “With a good truck that RCR gives us and the ECR engines, it makes it a lot easier on us drivers. I’ve got to thank all the guys for getting us here and having a great truck. It’s going to be a fun race. I think we have got a great piece for tomorrow. I’m more confident tomorrow than about any of the races this year.” Dillon finished 12th at Kansas Speedway last week.

Points-leader Sauter will start fifth after lapping at 178.288 mph in the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevrolet. And two-time/reigning series champion Todd Bodine _ a six-time Truck Series winner at TMS _ will start eighth in the 35-vehicle field after a lap at 177.396 mph in the No. 30 NTB/Service Central/ Valvoline Toyota Tundra fielded by Germain Racing.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 9 2011
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