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Buescher Blown Away By Might Of Oklahoma Tornado

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 6 2013

James Buescher says video simply did not convey the power of the recent Oklahoma tornado damage.. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Light bulbs were popping and cameras were rolling when defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher met the media on Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The first set of questions had nothing to little to do with the Plano, Texas native’s chances of winning Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400 at his home track.

Instead, there was a lot of curiosity over his visit earlier this week to nearby tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma.

“My wife and I got to go up there (on Wednesday) to help out and it was really humbling to see what everybody in Moore is having to go through,” said Buescher, who was also accompanied by several employees of his father-in-law, Steve Turner, who cleared debris on heavy equipment.

“The pictures and what you see on TV don’t do it justice. I’m glad we were able to go up there and able to help out.

“Anytime you see anything tragic like that, it makes you feel blessed for what you have. I want to help out in any way I can.”

Kyle Busch, last week’s Truck Series winner at Dover International Speedway, isn’t among the 33 drivers scheduled to participate in Friday night’s 167 lap event in the Lone Star state.

One would think the fact that Busch is in Pocono, Pa. this weekend for Sprint Cup duties would generate much joy among series regulars. But according to his fellow competitors, that isn’t necessarily the case.

“I’ve always enjoyed it when the Cup and Nationwide drivers come back and race in the Truck Series because it gives you a chance to compare yourself 100 percent to the guys that are racing on Sunday,” third-year driver Joey Coulter said. “And if you beat them, it looks really good.”

Brendan Gaughan is a four-time race winner at TMS. He claims he prefers that his fifth win here come in a truck race filled with a handful of Cup drivers.

“I really like it when (Kyle) races,” Gaughan said. “I want to get back to victory lane, but I want to do it when Kyle Busch or Mark Martin or whoever is out there.

“You want to race against the best. And right now, Kyle Busch is the best.”

Events here are considered crown jewels by many drivers in the Truck Series garage, including three-time Texas runner-up Matt Crafton.

He is still fretting over a race on the 1.5-mile quad-oval that slipped away nearly a decade ago.

“I can remember in 2004 when I led a lot of the race,” said Crafton, the current championship points leader. “I look back that far and it’s a thorn in my side. I had a bad pit stop, got hung back in traffic and was driving through but got wrecked. I just knew I was going to be able to win it.

“Everything is bigger and better in Texas and I’ve always wanted to win this race so damn bad.”

Drivers are already busy preparing for upcoming landmark races at Eldora Speedway on dirt and a road course event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and John Wes Townley are all scheduled to participate in this month’s ARCA race at Road America.

Gaughan is racing go karts on Wednesday nights in Mooresville, N.C. to prepare for the Labor Day weekend race in Canada.

Crafton has been busy turning laps on dirt at facilities throughout the United States.

“I’ve already raced 10 dirt races this year,” Crafton said. “I went to Tucson and raced a modified out there for three nights. I went to Volusia and raced four nights out there. I went to Vegas and ran a couple of nights out there.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 6 2013
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