Buescher Hopes To Pick Up The Pace At Kansas
By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – This weekend’s stop at Kansas Speedway might just be what James Buescher needs to cure the early-season woes experienced by the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion.
Buescher’s three consecutive top 15 finishes to launch the start of a new year might be satisfactory to most drivers in the garage.
But those statistics fall short of the lofty expectations the 23-year-old Plano, Texas native places on his shoulders.
“I think having a slow start to the season is not the worst thing in the world because we still have plenty of time to make a recovery,” said Buescher, the defending winner of Saturday’s SFP 250 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway.
“It seems like every week we’ve been making recoveries after something happens during the race. We had to change a carburetor at Daytona. Tires fell off our truck at Martinsville just from having no grip left for pit strategy.
“At Rockingham, we got wrecked by a lapped car and had to make up a lap and try to get back up there with 50 (laps) to go.”
Buescher’s four career wins have all come on tracks considered to be superspeedways (1.5 to 2 miles in length). So it was no surprise on a chilly and windy Friday morning in Kansas to see his No. 31 Chevrolet vault to the top of the speed chart during opening practice.
“It’s just bad timing for bad things to happen,” he said. “We just haven’t had any luck this year.
“But our trucks have been fast. The Rheem Chevy has been good every week. We’ve been in the top five and led laps in two out of three races this year. And if you’re up front and running well, that’s really all you can ask for. We just need some luck to come our way.
“We’ve got a really good truck here this weekend in Kansas. So far in practice, it’s doing really well for us.”
While Buescher would like nothing better than to make a second consecutive visit to victory lane at Kansas Speedway, his next major objective is to prove that he can win at places other than the 1.5-mile facilities.
“We run well just about everywhere,” he said. “But the 1.5-miles are where we really excel though. With the package that we have at Turner Scott Motorsports, all of our trucks are fast this weekend.
“I do enjoy the 1.5-mile racing, but I have fun at the other races too. We just haven’t found a way to get to victory lane yet in any of the other tracks other than the 1.5-miles. I really want to do that this year.
“I don’t want to be known for just winning races on the 1.5-mile tracks. We will definitely do what we can to win as many as we can this year, for sure.”
Turner Scott Motorsports has a relationship with the powerful Hendrick Motorsports organization.
But its most-important asset might just be its fleet of young drivers in NASCAR’s Nationwide and Truck Series.
– Jeff Hood can be reached at email@example.com
“I think I’ve got a good group of teammates,” Buescher said. “Jeb (Burton) coming in new has fit right in. It’s been a good relationship between Miguel (Paludo) and I and Nelson (Piquet). We all get along real good with those guys, Justin Allgaier and (Kyle) Larson.
“In Nationwide, we have a good group of drivers that are all fairly young and trying to climb up the ladder in racing. It’s a good group of drivers, for sure.”
Winning on a short track, road course, dirt track or at a restrictor plate track in the Truck Series is the immediate goal.
But Buescher still has his eye on the big prize, which is repeating as the series champion.
“We know we can do it. We proved that last year,” Buescher said on Friday. “We just need to execute and have some luck.
“Luck changes a lot of things. We’ll see if we can get this season going for us from here on out and try to get it turned around.”
– Jeff Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgNo Comment