Dallas Motorsports: James Buescher

What to watch: AAA Texas 500

October, 31, 2013
NASCAR's playoffs, the Chase for the Sprint Cup, enters the final three races full of drama. In fact, the Chase has never been this close this late in the season, with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth tied for the points lead. And there are others -- like Jeff Gordon (27 points behind), Kyle Busch (36 back) and even a few more -- still hopeful of making a comeback and snatching the trophy away.

Let's take a look at a few things to watch this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Qualifying takes place Friday, the Nationwide Series runs Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN is the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race):

Top two contenders like Texas: There really isn't a big advantage for Johnson or Kenseth in Texas. Both have run well at TMS.

Kenseth is the career leader at TMS in Sprint Cup races laps led with 772, top-5 finishes with 12 and finishing average at 8.5. He has two wins at the track, including the spring of 2011. He's finished in the top 10 in seven of his eight appearances in the fall race.

Johnson will be defending his victory from 2012 and has two additional wins at the speedway. He also has five runner-ups at TMS, the most by a Cup driver.

Experience counts: Both Johnson and Kenseth have championships on their résumés. But Kenseth's came in 2003, before NASCAR switched to the Chase format. And Johnson has put together one of the most dominating stretches the sport has ever seen, winning five straight titles from 2006 to 2010. He understands this format and what has to be done. So if there's an experience edge, it goes to Johnson.

Don't forget about me: Gordon earned the checkered flag at Martinsville last week, inching him closer to the rear bumper of Johnson and Kenseth. He sits 27 points behind and comes to TMS with confidence. After the final race of the regular season, it didn't appear that Gordon was going to even be in the Chase. But NASCAR gave Gordon a 13th spot when it determined that Michael Waltrip Racing was unfairly trying to influence the outcome of the Richmond race.

Gordon took advantage, finishing in the top 10 in five of the first seven Chase races to make his climb. He's vying for a fifth championship and will do so at a track where he's bounced back from some early disappointments. Gordon ended a 47-race winless streak with a victory at TMS in 2009 and has 11 top-10 finishes in 25 career starts.

Local driver tries to defend championship: James Buescher, the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, is back at TMS (one of the tracks where he learned to race) and hoping to get himself back in championship contention. He sits 51 points behind leader Matt Crafton and has never won at TMS in the 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.

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.

Matt Kenseth put a bow on very bizarre SpeedWeeks

February, 28, 2012

As Monday turned into Tuesday, you wondered if the bizarre SpeedWeeks at Daytona -- something fans have waited for during what they consider an interminably-long offseason -- would ever end. Finally, it did with a clean sprint to the finish line during a three-lap overtime period with Matt Kenseth claiming his second Daytona 500 win.

TMS president Eddie Gossage shares his thoughts on Monday's epic Daytona 500, the jet fuel truck explosion and how it could all help Texas Motor Speedway's marketing plan.

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Kenseth, an often overlooked talent who has won a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and 22 races in his career, simply buried his foot on the floor while Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave chase. Neither Biffle or Junior could even make a move to try to overtake Kenseth. That’s how strong he was.

But the bizarre nature of SpeedWeeks at Daytona caused you to think back. Unknown John King won the NASCAR Camping World Series race on Friday night while Plano’s James Buescher maneuvered through a last lap wreck to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

And then there was Danica. You would have sworn it was the Danica 500. If she wasn’t here, she was there. She was everywhere. All Danica, all the time, as America’s most recognized female athlete prepared for her NASCAR Sprint Cup debut. She ran in Thursday’s dual qualifying races, Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide race and then the Monday night/Tuesday morning’s Daytona 500. Three race, three wrecks. None, really, of her own doing. Welcome to NASCAR.

But the word “bizarre” is perhaps the most-used word about the first race of the 2012 NASCAR season.

Bizarre in that for the first time in the 53-year history of the Daytona 500, the race was postponed due to weather.

Bizarre in that of the three major races at Daytona, 87 of the 122 cars that raced were involved in a caution, according to NASCAR. That means 71 percent of the cars were damaged in some way. Some were repaired and thus returned to the track, but few got by without any damage.

Bizarre in that the race had a red flag delay of more than two hours after Juan Pablo Montoya's race car hit a jet-drier truck during a caution period. The truck, loaded with 200 gallons of jet fuel, erupted in an explosion. Not since the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under snow last year or an earthquake hit San Francisco's Candlestick Park moments before a game in the 1989 World Series have we seen such a bizarre sporting moment. Fortunately neither Montoya or the driver of the jet truck were injured.

Bizarre in that driver Brad Keselowski tweeted photos of the burning jet truck as he sat parked on the backstretch. Tweeting. During the race. From inside his car (but not while driving). What other sport? As the TV network showed his report and gave his @keselowski handle, the driver’s Twitter followers jumped from some 20,000 to more than 200,000. Amazing.

And then, bizarrely, nobody could pass Kenseth as he took the checkered flag and went directly to Daytona's Victory Lane. Winner. Again.

Sadly, Kenseth’s win comes less than a month after his mother died of dementia.

In 2009, Kenseth won a rain-shortened Daytona 500 that covered only 380 miles. With this morning’s overtime race, Kenseth ran 505 miles in winning the Daytona 500.

He’s the 2012 Daytona 500 champ. SpeedWeeks is over. Almost too much to remember.

So if you only recall one thing other than Kenseth’s triumph, remember the word:


Richard Petty and James Buescher talk racing

February, 24, 2012
NASCAR legend Richard Petty discusses the prestige of the Daytona 500, his legendary status in the sport and the fun and games that go on off the track.

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NASCAR driver and Plano native James Buescher dishes on how he got into the sport, his rift with Danica Patrick and more.

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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.