Dallas Motorsports: Camping World Truck Series

Plano's James Buescher falls short at TMS

June, 8, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas -- James Buescher was 30 laps away from a trip to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway, just about 43 miles from his hometown of Plano.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

“It would be awesome to win here at our own track. I mean, we won at Kansas but this would have been so much sweeter,” Buescher said. “We had close to 100 people here that are friends or family and it would have been really cool to bring them all to Victory Lane.”

Driving his No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, Buescher fought up from his fourth place start and led six different times for 34 laps. But a tussle late in the race pushed him to a 15th place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400.

Everything changed in the 138th lap, when Buescher and No. 3 Ty Dillon began jockeying for first.

Dillon had already taken first from Buescher twice coming off pit row, thanks to some exceptional speed on the part of his pit crew. But on Lap 138, Dillon started getting physical, nudging into Buescher and causing both cars to spin out and fall behind.

“He was just trying to race for the win I guess, but there were 35 laps to go,” Buescher said. “There’s only so much room you can crowd somebody and we just ran out of real estate. I talked to Ty and I think him and I have an understanding for racing in the future.”

Dillon was less apologetic.

“If you’re not racing hard, you’re not going to pull over for somebody and let them win the race,” he said. “He has the right to be mad, but you know what, it’s just racing.”

Buescher is confident heading into his next Nascar Camping World Truck Series race in Kentucky. He has been to Victory Lane there before and believes he can return with the same truck he drove tonight.

Buescher is currently in fourth place in the Truck Series standings and hopes to improve on that position in Kentucky.

The UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway is June 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Johnny Sauter gets redemption with win at TMS

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- It was a battle throughout with six different drivers getting a share of the lead, but Johnny Sauter outlasted them all on his way to a win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.

Last year, TMS did not give Sauter the sweetest memories. He was penalized late in the race, costing him a victory.

“It was tough to swallow,” he said of last year’s race. “To come out here and with qualifying raining out and the season that we’ve had up to this point, it’s just been bad luck after bad luck.

“To start the race in 20th and to ultimately drive to the lead and overcome some obstacles tonight, I couldn’t be prouder.”

Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota, took his second lead of the night following the sixth caution that he would not relinquish in the final 22 laps.

The win was the fifth for Sauter in 93 series races, but it was his first victory of the season and his first win at TMS. However, Sauter does have success in Texas with six top-10 finishes at TMS.

“I’ve come here and been humbled when I left,” Sauter said of TMS. “It’s just a great race track, great atmosphere, great fans. … This race track has a lot of curveballs as far as grooves and bumps. It just has a lot of unique characteristics and puts an emphasis on handling.”

With the win, Sauter moved up two spots to No. 15 in the series point standings.

Next up, Sauter and the series head to Kentucky for the UNOH 225 on June 28.

Rapid Reaction: Johnny Sauter wins WinStar World Casino 400

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Six different drivers led, but Johnny Sauter walked away with the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.

What it means: Sauter entered the weekend 17th in the series point standings, but a big win at TMS will give him a nice boost.

Sweet victory: Sauter wasn’t in control for much of the race, but his ability to hang around the top of the leaderboard paid off. He took his second lead of the night after the seventh and final caution and never looked back. The driver of the No. 13 NTS Inc. Chevrolet earned his first win of the season.

Buescher’s night: Plano native James Buescher was at the front of the pack nearly the whole race. A scuffle on Lap 138 ended his hopes for a win. He was in the lead on seven different occasions, but the bump in the wall made him fall to 15th place.

Starr ends strong: Irving native David Starr drove a safe and consistent race mostly in the middle of the pack. However, he made a move in the last 50 laps to finish in 13th place.

Bad luck for Lofton: Justin Lofton led for much of the race and had a sizeable lead at one point. But he lost his lead coming out of the fifth caution, putting him in the middle of the pack.

Cautions: There were seven cautions, and they all had a big impact. Buescher lost leads in three of the cautions, and none were more costly than the seventh caution during Lap 138. Buescher had just passed Ty Dillon, driver of the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, when Dillon lost control of his truck pushing Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Koike.com Chevrolet, into the wall.

Lead changes: There were 14 different lead changes during the race, and six different drivers held the leads.

What’s next: The IZOD IndyCar Series will take over Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. CST for the Firestone 550.

Johnny Sauter leads WinStar World Casino 400 after 150

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Nearing the home stretch, Johnny Sauter leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 after 150 laps at Texas Motor Speedway.

Driving the No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota, Sauter battled up from starting 20th to take the lead from No. 88 Matt Crafton in the 146th lap. Sauter is trying for his first Truck Series win of the year.

Crafton, driving the ThorSport Racing Toyota, was able to take the lead in the 137th lap when No. 3 Ty Dillon nudged No. 31 James Buescher while the two were jockeying for first, causing both cars to spin out. Crafton began tenth and also has yet to win a Truck Series race this year.

Buescher, a Plano native, had just taken his sixth lead of the race when Dillon started to get physical with him. Dillon had already bested Buescher twice coming off pit row, thanks to superb work from his pit crew. Dillon and Buescher currently sit at ninth and 16th respectively.

No. 6 Justin Lofton, who started on the pole, fell back considerably coming off pit row during a caution. The driver of the CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet currently sits in 16th place.

The top five after 150 are Sauter, Crafton, No. 22 Joey Coulter, No. 2 Brendan Gaughan, and No. 18 Jason Leffler.

Justin Lofton leads after 100 laps at TMS

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Justin Lofton leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 after 100 laps at Texas Motor Speedway.

Lofton, driver of the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet, came out of pit road during the fifth caution of the night to claim the lead.

Joey Coulter, No. 22, holds second place, while Plano native James Buescher is currently in third. Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Koike.com Chevrolet, has been near the front of the pack for the whole race.

Rounding out the top-five are No. 3 Ty Dillon and No. 13 Johnny Sauter.

Irving native David Starr, driver of the No. 81 Build Your Future/Zachry Toyota, sits in 12th place.

Ty Dillon leads WinStar World Casino 400 after 50

June, 8, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas -- After 50 laps, Ty Dillon leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Dillon, who drives the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, began in the third position and took the lead over No. 31 James Buescher in the 33rd lap.

Buescher, a Plano native, began fourth and took the lead from No. 6 Justin Lofton in the 27th lap. Buescher held first place until Dillon overtook him after a pit stop.

Loftin began on the pole and remained out front for the first 26 laps.

No. 11 Todd Bodine suffered an engine failure in the 32nd lap and was forced to leave the race. The veteran driver of the Red Horse Racing Toyota has the most wins of anyone in this year’s Truck Series at TMS with six first place finishes.

Rounding out the top five after 50 were Buescher, Lofton, No. 2 Brendan Gaughan, and No. 30 Nelson Piquet Jr.
Today's schedule at Texas Motor Speedway:

9:30 a.m.: Gate 4 Open
10 a.m.-9 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Garage & Registration Opens
10 a.m.–11 a.m.: GRC Hoon KaboomTX Qualifying
12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Practice
2 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Registration Opens
3 p.m.: Gates Open (2, 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8)
3 p.m.: Luxury Suites and Victory Lane Club Open
3:30 p.m.–5 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying Days
4 p.m.: NCWTS Garage Opens
4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: NCWTS Autograph Session (Location: Between Gates 6 & 7)
6:45 p.m.–7:15 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Series Final Practice
8 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400 (167 laps, 250.5 miles; TV:SPEED)
9 p.m.: IZOD IndyCar Garage Closes
Midnight: Burnout Alley Closes

Have at it, boys? Not this time for Kyle Busch

November, 5, 2011

After deliberately wrecking Camping World Truck Series points leader Ron Hornday during a caution just 15 laps into Friday night's race at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR has come down hard on Kyle Busch.

Busch, a participant in NASCAR's Chase for the Cup, has been suspended from the Nationwide Series race on Saturday AND for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday.

"After a good deal conversation and discussion, NASCAR decided to maintain the parked position for the balance of the weekend," Helton said during a news conference Saturday morning. "Kyle will not be participating today and tomorrow in Texas."

For more on the story, click here.

Busch has long been a polarizing figure in NASCAR, with fans either loving or hating the brash driver of the M&M's No. 18. So, after NASCAR's famed declaration of "Have at it, boys," do you agree with the sport's decision to park Busch for the weekend?

Click here to comment.

2012 TMS sked: Twin Indy races, two Cup races

August, 23, 2011
The IndyCar Series twin race format will return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and the track's two NASCAR stops will be highlighted by a Saturday night spring race and the eighth Chase race, it was announced Tuesday night.

The TMS schedule starts with the Samsung Mobile 500 on Sat., April 14, and will be the first Saturday night race of the Sprint Cup season. NASCAR returns to Texas on Nov. 4, for a Sunday afternoon race -- the eighth stop in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR's playoff format.

Situated between those two Cup weekends is the Firestone Twin 275s, the twin races in the IndyCar Series that debuted last year at TMS. Those two races will be Sat., June 9, and will follow the Indianapolis 500 -- the series takes a week off after the Indy 500 before coming to Texas.

NASCAR Sprint Cup champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch joined TMS president Eddie Gossage for the announcement at The Palladium Ballroom at Gilley's Dallas on Tuesday night. Kyle Petty, a former Cup driver and current TV analyst, served as the emcee.

"We revamped the majority of our schedule in 2011 in an effort to give our fans some variety and uniqueness to our season, and they wanted very much of the same for 2012," Gossage said in a release. He's in the final stages of the completion of the 2012 race sanction agreements with NASCAR and IndyCar. "The first-ever Saturday night Cup race was a big success, the IndyCar twins format added a unique twist and the day-to-night appeal of the AAA Texas 500 for the Chase remains a fan favorite in the fall. The Texas Motor Speedway season has a little of everything for our fans."

The Nationwide Series will race during both weekends and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race on Friday, June 8, prior to the dual races in the IndyCar Series on Sat., June 9. They'll return to TMS in November for that NASCAR weekend.

Rapid Reaction: Hornaday Jr. wins WinStar World Casino 400

June, 11, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Ron Hornaday Jr. picked up his 48th career win Friday night on a controversial finish at the caution-filled NCWTS WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR ruled Johnny Sauter came down in front of Hornaday’s lane as the caution flag was about to be removed on the frontstrech with three laps left. Sauter finished first but received a black flag for his action, giving Hornaday the victory.

“As soon as the green dropped, he turned into my lane," Hornaday said. "I was yelling, ‘He’s in my lane! Better stick by the rules, he’s in my lane!’

“I knew it from right there. If they hadn’t black-flagged him and gave it to him, I would’ve been fine with it either way. At that time, we had a second-place truck that put me in position to be there.”

*Sauter, who led for 19 laps, was furious coming off the track. While talking to the television’s sideline reporters about his thoughts on the decision, Sauter stood there silently for a moment and uttered, “God bless America.”

*It’s Hornaday’s third career win at Texas Motor Speedway. He swept the two NCWTS stops at TMS in 2008 -- the Silverado 350k and Sam’s Town 400. It’s his first victory and seventh top-10 finish this season. His last win came in October 2010 at Martinsville Speedway.

*Plenty of records were broken Friday. There were at TMS-record 10 caution flags totaling 46 laps, which tied for the most caution laps. Other records set include most leaders (11) and most lead changes (19).

*There were five cautions in the first 75 laps. Rookie Chase Mattioli spun out in the frontstretch on the 23rd lap. Brian Ickler and Todd Bodine went for a spin on Lap 52 as they came around Turn 2. Bodine’s car went in the garage and did not return, while Ickler finished fourth.

*Austin Dillon led a race-high 46 laps but finished 26th thanks to his involvement in two wrecks. The first came at Lap 90, when he crashed with Matt Crafton on the frontstretch. As he attempted to make up the ground he lost, he was involved in another accident with Steve Arpin on Lap 138 and never recovered. Dillon would not finish in the top 20.

*Pole Winner and Plano resident James Buescher finished in ninth place. Flower Mound native David Start was involved in an accident on Lap 68 and did not finish the race.

Miguel Paludo leads after 75 laps

June, 10, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Miguel Paludo leads the NCWTS WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway after 75 laps.

Most of the drivers went into pit road after the race underwent its fifth caution flag of the night on Lap 66. Todd Bodine and David Starr got in an accident on Turn 2 and Bodine went into the garage and is out of the race. There have been 21 caution laps.

Austin Dillon has been up front for 46 laps starting from third, but he’s been in a battle with pole winner James Buescher throughout the night. Buescher, a Texas native, has led eight laps.

We’ve seen some three, even four-wide racing early in the race. The trucks have been bunched up because of all the cautions. It’ll be interesting to see if the trucks will get some separation as we get to the halfway point of the 167-lap race.

Qualifying results for Friday's Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The green flag waves at 7 p.m.:

1. (31) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 179.045.
2. (22) Joey Coulter, Chevrolet, 178.477.
3. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 178.389.
4. (32) Steve Arpin, Chevrolet, 178.336.
5. (13) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 178.288.
6. (29) Parker Kligerman, Dodge, 178.288.
7. (18) Brian Ickler, Toyota, 178.077.
8. (30) Todd Bodine, Toyota, 177.936.
9. (4) Ricky Carmichael, Chevrolet, 177.877.
10. (8) Nelson Piquet Jr., Chevrolet, 177.819.
11. (88) Matt Crafton, Chevrolet, 177.789.
12. (81) David Starr, Toyota, 177.643.
13. (33) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet, 177.579.
14. (60) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 177.526.
15. (66) Justin Marks, Chevrolet, 177.34.
16. (2) David Mayhew, Chevrolet, 177.334.
17. (5) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 176.962.
18. (20) Johanna Long, Toyota, 176.835.
19. (39) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 176.719.
20. (23) Jason White, Chevrolet, 176.206.
21. (9) Max Papis, Toyota, 176.165.
22. (7) Miguel Paludo, Toyota, 175.393.
23. (17) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 175.097.
24. (46) Craig Goess, Toyota, 175.012.
25. (77) Justin Lofton, Toyota, 174.803.
26. (92) Clay Rogers, Chevrolet, 174.752.
27. (93) Shane Sieg, Chevrolet, 173.661.
28. (62) Brendan Gaughan, Toyota, 173.628.
29. (99) Chase Mattioli, Ford, 172.128.
30. (07) Johnny Chapman, Toyota, 172.029.
31. (73) Tim Andrews, Chevrolet, 171.903.
32. (38) Mike Garvey, Chevrolet, 168.951.
33. (68) Clay Greenfield, Dodge, 165.955.
34. (65) Stephan McCurley, Chevrolet, 163.453.
35. (57) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 155.07.

Series changes should help develop young drivers

January, 13, 2011
NASCAR apparently will announce soon that drivers must declare to run for the championship in only one series in 2011 in an attempt to give up-and-coming drivers a clearer shot at making a name for themselves in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

That’s good because we all want to develop young drivers and give them a chance to develop into tomorrow’s Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon.

Time will tell if this is the way to accomplish the development of young drivers. The downside is it will unquestionably diminish the value of some events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and could result in some speedways struggling financially or completely going out of business. Certainly speedways are not immune from the pressure of the economy, as evidenced by the recent shuttering of St. Louis’ Gateway International Raceway, Memphis Motorsports Park, The Milwaukee Mile and others. Some speedways will struggle with more financial pressure as a result of this decision.

[+] EnlargeDenny Hamlin
AP Photo/Tim SharpNASCAR drivers such as Denny Hamlin, who swept both Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway last year, will have to declare to run for the points championship in only one series in 2011.
The change won’t affect the April 6th O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, the first-ever nighttime NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, or the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 5, here at “The Great American Speedway.” Big name Cup drivers like Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and others will continue to run most NASCAR Nationwide Series events. The reasons: 1. They make lots of money in these events, 2. They learn a great deal about how race track conditions will change for the NASCAR Sprint Cup events typically held the next day, and 3. They love to drive race cars.

But they won’t be awarded NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

ESPN.com’s Terry Blount has long championed an elimination of Cup drivers from the Nationwide races. He applauds the looming NASCAR announcement in his Jan. 11 column. While I typically agree with Blount’s thoughtful columns on the sport, he continues to crash and burn on this item. Fortunately, NASCAR wisely understands this point.

If Cup drivers were completely eliminated from Nationwide Series races, as they essentially will be for certain stand-alone Nationwide races (such as Iowa, Road America or Montreal), then the Nationwide events would have a tremendously lesser value to everyone involved -- fans, sponsors, television networks, promoters and more.

Those that long for yesteryear in the series fail to recall that race purses “back in the day” were typically below $100,000. Many of the races were run at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, Myrtle Beach Speedway, etc. -- facilities that often didn’t have the capacity to hold more than 5-6,000 people. Due to the lack of big name drivers in the field races weren’t televised, so teams could not land big sponsors looking for TV exposure.

If you want to be on ESPN, if you want purses in the $1.5 million range (as they were here in Texas in 2010), if you want to run in front of 100,000 people or so and if you want to be in the nation’s fourth-largest market (Dallas-Fort Worth), then you have to have big names in the field. People won’t tune into ESPN, they won’t buy tickets, promoters won’t be able to pay huge purses and you’ll be back in South Boston, Va. -- where they offer some of the best concessions in racing –- but you won’t be in the nation’s major markets. It’s that simple.

Folks like Blount argue that young drivers won’t be able to break through, gain experience and climb the ladder to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I suppose, then, we will just run out of drivers one day. I don’t know how in the world drivers like Brian Vickers, Joey Logano or Paul Menard ever made it to the big leagues. They had to attract somebody’s attention, whether it was the lowly, struggling Nationwide team owner or a Rick Hendrick-owned team.

So time will tell if this move benefits young drivers. I certainly hope so. I guarantee that it will hurt some of the smaller events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit. Hopefully, though, it results in a net gain for the series.

But I do know this. A young Dale Earnhardt Sr. used to say he welcomed the Cup superstars to race in these type of events when he was climbing the ladder. He said he loved to see if he could race against the best.

Young drivers would do well to emulate the Intimidator.

Championship drama plays out at TMS

November, 2, 2010

It may be championship weekend this week for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski has a commanding 485-point lead over Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. All he has to do is start the last three races of the 2010 season. But a finish of 21st or better in Saturday’s O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway will clinch the first NASCAR championship of Keselowski’s career.

Significantly, it will become the first NASCAR championship for team owner Roger Penske. He has won 12 Indy Car national championships and 15 Indianapolis 500 titles through the years – both records – but has never won a NASCAR championship of any kind. The closest Penske has come was 1993, when Rusty Wallace finished runner-up to Dale Earnhardt for the NASCAR Cup Series title.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, point leader Todd Bodine can’t clinch at Texas. He maintains a 216-point lead over Aric Almirola following a somewhat disappointing 18th-place finish at Talladega Saturday. Bodine, though, could drive a stake through the heart of his competitors here at Texas. He has won six times at “The Great American Speedway” and has an average finishing position of 6.58. That’s strong.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has an extremely tight three-way point battle going on coming to Texas. Jimmie Johnson holds a razor-thin 14 point lead over Denny Hamlin. Third-place Kevin Harvick is only 38 points out of first. Any of the three could easily leave Texas with the point lead, heading into the final two events of the season.

One championship could be resolved, one championship could become clearer and one championship could be turned upside down this weekend.


NFL preseason price tag tough to stomach

September, 3, 2010
Walking past a TV in a restaurant, I saw they didn't even wear their pads.

I love racing the most. Give me sports with plenty of action -- like the NASCAR, the NFL or the NHL -- and I'm generally happy.

So I am a Dallas Cowboys season ticket holder.

And that's where I get angry with the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell knows how me and many NFL fans feel about it.

It's time he does something about it. And this is unquestionably an area where auto racing treats it's fans with so much more respect than does the NFL. It's not even debatable.

As a season ticket holder, I refuse to attend preseason games. I've never understood why professional football players need weeks of training camp and five preseason games before they play games that actually count. Heck, college and high school football players don't need any preseason games.

But as an NFL season ticket holder, I'm forced to buy them -- and the criminally ridiculous $75 parking -- as are all NFL season ticket holders. Certainly I don't have to buy season tickets. But if I want season tickets, I have no choice but to buy the preseason games.

So as I had a nice dinner in Fort Worth, a friend of mine sat in my seats watching the Cowboys in Arlington. The tickets and the parking cost me $325 for a game I wouldn't even look up to see on TV. Dinner was great -- and much less expensive.

And this is where NASCAR easily tops the NFL.

Could you imagine the response from the public if NASCAR charged the same price for a ticket to a Nationwide race as it does for the premiere Sprint Cup Series races? Or if a NASCAR Camping World Truck race had the same price as a Sprint Cup race?

In clear recognition of the fact that there is a difference -- in both the quality of the competition and the length of the race -- the price is commensurate to the race. It's the fairest way to price tickets in any sport.

Can you imagine the Dallas Cowboys charging less for a home game against the woeful Detroit Lions than they do against the rival New York Giants?

Well, that's the equivalent. Give NASCAR credit. In that manner, it's far more fair.

Apparently Commissioner Goodell agrees. The NFL is looking at dropping two preseason games (but will add two regular-season games -- they are not going to give up the revenue).

But at least put on appearances. Make the players wear their pads on the sidelines in these meaningless -- and expensive -- preseason games.

We ticket-paying customers -- even those sitting in a restaurant 20 miles away -- deserve at least that much for our money.