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Buescher On Truck Pole

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 22 2011

James Buescher won the pole for today's Camping World race. (Chris Graythen for Getty Images)

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TALLADEGA, Ala. – Championship contender James Buescher qualified on-pole Friday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Coca-Cola 250 Powered by fred’s, the perfect spot to launch his “patiently aggressive” game plan.

Buescher turned in a fast lap of 177.676 mph around the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway trioval, placing him directly in front of points-leader Austin Dillon, who qualified third. Dillon holds a five-point lead over Johnny Sauter, who qualified 20th, and a seven-point edge over Buescher with four races remaining. Green flag for Saturday’s scheduled 94-lapper on SPEED is set for at 3 p.m. (CDT).

“You race as hard as you can to get the best possible finish you can, and then the points will work themselves out,” said Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Exide Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Turner Motorsports. “You don’t gauge yourself off what those other guys are doing. You just try to go out and get the maximum points.”

Nelson Piquet Jr. qualified second, continuing his push for NCWTS Rookie of the Year. Ricky Carmichael qualified fourth, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr. in fifth. A four-time series champion and winner of the last two races, Hornaday trails Dillon by 21 points. Hornaday is seeking to add to his all-time series victory total of 51.

Mike Wallace qualified sixth, followed by rookie Joey Coulter, Johanna Long, Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch qualified 17th.

Buescher explained his “patiently aggressive” approach. “We’re not leading the points, we’re third. So we still have to try to outrun those guys and gain points on them,” said Buescher, who also sat on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway for the 2008 ARCA race. “It’s definitely a tight championship battle.”

Dillon, grandson of Sprint Cup Series team-owner Richard Childress, said he is looking forward to the drafting strategy and close-quarter racing synonymous with Talladega.

“It’s a lot of fun to come here and draft,” said Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing. “I had a blast today during practice messing around with the two-car tandem and trying to get it to work. It’s like gaining 100 horsepower when you get it to hook up. It’s pretty wild. It’s going to be a crazy race.

“We don’t have a big cushion (in the standings), but at least we have a cushion. This is a tough race. You just don’t know how it’s going to go. Anybody can win it. We’re going to put it all on the line and hopefully we can come out with at least a top-five finish.”

Busch, winner of the last two NCWTS races here, downplayed his 17th-place starting spot. “The biggest thing is making sure that you’re there at the end,” said Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports. “You want to lead some laps and all that, but the most important thing and the most important aspect of the whole deal is just to make it to the last four or five laps, to be able to go out there and hammer down and push some guys and get up towards the front and try to win.

“If you can make it through the trioval on that last lap then it’s anybody’s game. Last year was certainly an exciting race and we were really proud to bring home this No. 18 Tundra first. Here we are this year with the same truck and looking for the same result. We’ll see if we can’t make it three in a row.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 22 2011
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