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Texas Trucker Buescher Hoping To Out-Draw Dillon

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, November 1 2012

James Buescher feeling at home this weekend in Camping World Truck Series. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

FORT WORTH, Texas – James Buescher’s bid to end “Dillon Domination” of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series continued Thursday evening at Texas Motor Speedway, where two practice sessions laid the groundwork for Friday night’s Winstar World Casino 350.

A 22-year-old native of nearby Plano, Buescher will take a 21-point lead over rookie Ty Dillon into the 147-lap/220.5-mile event around TMS’ 1.5-mile quadoval.

Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Great Clips Chevrolet Silverado, took the point lead from Dillon after a sixth-place finish in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Buescher, who trailed Dillon by one point as the day began, exited the paperclip-shaped half-mile with the lead after Dillon limped home to a 28th-place finish following a blown tire and crash. Buescher, meanwhile, battled back from a lap down to secure that top-10 finish and the championship lead.

Ty Dillon, 20, took the lead from Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Toyota Tundra fielded by Red Horse Racing after a second-place finish at Iowa Speedway on Sept. 15, and held the advantage for four races. Recall that Austin Dillon, Ty’s older brother, won the 2011 NCWTS title in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy now driven by Ty. Austin and Ty Dillon are the grandsons of NASCAR championship team-owner Richard Childress.

Buescher emerged from Thursday’s first practice third on the time sheet with a hot lap of 180.469 mph. Turner Motorsports teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. topped the session at 181.574 mph in the No. 30 TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear Chevrolet. Parker Kligerman, driver of the No. 7 Camp Horsin’ Around/Toyota fielded by Red Horse Racing, was second-fast at 180.735 mph. Dillon was 12th at 179.301 mph.

Piquet also topped the 90-minute second/last practice and led a Turner sweep of the top three slots. Piquet’s hot lap was 182.113 mph, with Miguel Paludo second-fast at 181.220 mph in the No. 32 World Diabetes Day/Duroline Chevy. Buescher was third at 181.111 – two slots ahead of Dillon at 180.838 mph. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. Friday.

Buescher, who finished third in the championship last year, is enjoying a breakout season for Turner Motorsports and father-in-law Steve Turner. Buescher leads the series in wins (4), top-fives (10) and has finished among the top-10 in 14 of 19 races, including nine of his last 10. Buescher has excelled on 1.5-mile layouts as all four of his victories (Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway twice) have come via NASCAR’s intermediate configurations.

“Texas Motor Speedway is where I first started my racing career, so to be able to come back home this weekend with the Truck Series points lead really means a lot to me,” said Buescher, who won the TMS Bandolero Young Guns championship in 2004.

In seven career Truck Series starts at TMS, Buescher has qualified on-pole twice (both 2011 races) and finished as high as sixth twice (both 2010 races). But his most recent starts have proven to be teasers. Buescher led 56 laps en route to a 19th-place finish in last November’s event and paced 34 laps here in the June night race on the way to a 15th-place result.

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

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, November 1 2012
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