Texas Toasts Its Native Son … And Next Truck Champion?
James Buescher heads home to Texas Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead and a championship in his grasp.
And it all happened so quickly for the Plano, Texas native. In only one 200-lap race, Buescher transformed a one-point deficit to rookie Ty Dillon into a 21-point advantage. Now only three races remain for Buescher to hold serve and claim a title he’s been stalking since he entered the series fulltime in 2009.
Here’s the best news for Buescher: All four of his wins this season – two at Kentucky and one each at Kansas and Chicagoland – have come on tracks measured at 1.5 miles. Texas? It’s a 1.5-mile track. The season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway? Ditto. So it looks good on paper. But so did Dillon at Martinsville, considering Dillon’s impressive runner-up finish in the spring race. Instead, Dillon wound up 28th due to a tire problem that got compounded.
The key for Buescher now is to conserve – or better yet, pad – his cushion. To do so, he’ll likely have to fare better at Texas than he has in the past. Though he has led laps in each of the last three Texas races (and won poles in two of them), Buescher has averaged a finish of just 14.3. In all, Buescher has three top 10s in seven starts.
Dillon has two starts at Texas, top 10s in each. His best finish was third in this race last year. Timothy Peters, not to be counted out, is 25 points behind Buescher. He has one top 10 in nine starts at Texas.
Busch Looks To Double Up At Texas
Last season, Kyle Busch Motorsports piled up eight wins, six by its all-world driver-owner. This season, a revolving roster of Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jason Leffler, David Mayhew, German Quiroga, Drew Herring, Brian Scott and Kyle Busch, himself, have combined for just one.
But that one came last week at Martinsville with Hamlin. And success comes in bunches when it comes to Busch, whose 30 wins as a driver is second all-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team will double-down again this weekend, with two big guns aiming for Victory Lane.
The first: Kyle Busch, who returns to the seat of his No. 18 Toyota for only the second time this season, after a second-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September. Busch will run all three NASCAR national series races this weekend at Texas.
The second truck will be driven by three-time NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series champion Quiroga. Quiroga will make his fourth career start for KBM, and second of 2012. At Talladega, Quiroga finished eighth, his first career top-10 finish.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
Chevrolet, which currently leads the manufacturers’ standings by 18 points, can clinch the Manufacturer’s Championship this weekend by leaving Texas with a 13-point lead over Toyota. Chevy can clinch by earning third-place points or better. … Brandon McReynolds, son of FOX analyst Larry McReynolds, will pilot the No. 4 truck for Turner Motorsports on Friday night. … ThorSport Racing should figure prominently this weekend. Johnny Sauter won at Texas in the spring, and Matt Crafton comes off a strong Martinsville performance, and finished second at Texas in the spring. … Brendan Gaughan will drive the No. 2 truck, and had four straight wins from 2002-03. … Todd Bodine leads all drivers with six Texas wins, and will drive the No. 11 Toyota for Red Horse Racing. … Nelson Piquet Jr. will make his 50th NCWTS start.
Home Tracks Roundup
Corey LaJoie’s last-corner, last-lap pass Saturday night at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway earned him his fifth win of the season and moved him a step closer to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title. LaJoie muscled past pole sitter Brett Moffitt, who had led the entire race, on the green-white-checkered finish. Contact sent Moffitt spinning, and allowed Chase Elliott to finish second and Jesse Little to come home with a career-best third. Moffitt slid sideways across the line in eighth. LaJoie, however, was penalized post-race 25 points for rules violations. Kyle Larson (finished fourth) leads Moffitt by 10 points and LaJoie by 19 heading to the season finale Saturday at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
Pardo Wins Chihuahua 200
Ruben Pardo won the inaugural Chihuahua 200 Sunday before a sold-out crowd of more than 19,000 in the NASCAR Toyota Series race at El Dorado Speedway. Jorge Goeters finished eighth to take an 18-point lead over Daniel Suarez to the finale at Mexico City on Sunday, Nov.11. Suarez led 115 laps before being sidelined by a broken suspension and finished 30th.
Season To Wrap Up At Phoenix
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series concludes Saturday, Nov. 10 at Phoenix International Raceway, with Dylan Kwasniewski holding a two-point lead over teammate Greg Pursley.
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