Buescher wins truck race at Chicagoland
2-way battle ends with Buescher taking advantage of white flag for 3rd victory
James Buescher, driver of the #31 Fresh from Florida Gulf Seafood Chevrolet, holds the trophy after winning the NASCAR Camping World Series American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Photo / July 21, 2012)
James Buescher took advantage of a slow restart by Brendan Gaughan and debris on the track to win a three-lap sprint to the finish for his third NASCAR Camping World truck series victory of the year.
Buescher's triumph looked improbable after his crew had to change a carburetor at lap 81. But the switch was completed in three minutes and cost him only two laps under a yellow flag. He battled back to the front over a choppy, caution-filled second-half of the race.
"We didn't waste any time when we caught anybody," he said. "There are sometimes I felt like it was not the best moves I made. A lot of them probably could have ended up in some crashes, but I knew I had to pass (about) 20 trucks in 40 laps."
Gaughan, who led 83 of the 150 laps in the race, was visibly discouraged despite his second-place finish.
"There was no truck out there that was going to beat us unless we beat ourselves and I did," Gaughan said. "I gave an opening, which you can't do."
After the final caution, series leader Timothy Peters and Buescher began side-by-side and remained that way until the white flag. But the better line was in the middle of the track, the spot occupied by Buescher's Chevy.
Despite starting at the back of the field after changing an engine, Peters made it into the top 10 by lap 20. His third place finish helped extend his series lead to 23 points over rookie Ty Dillon.
Wire to wire: Kevin Swindell added a little flair to his first ARCA series victory Saturday.
Swindell led every lap, becoming the first driver to do so since Ryan Hemphill accomplished the feat in Kentucky in 2004, and at times had more than a 10-second lead on the field.
The Venturini driver had to hold off a hard charge from teammate Brennan Poole who closed to within one second during the final 10 laps.
As Poole and third-place finisher Frank Kimmel were closing, Mark Thompson spun for the second time in the race right in front of the leaders. A yellow flag would have allowed the two challengers to make up the large lead Swindell had built.
"I saw him get pretty straight and they hadn't thrown (the yellow flag) yet, so I figured they weren't going to do it," Swindell said. "I definitely didn't want to see it."
Poole had to come from the 31st starting spot after a post-qualifying inspection failure cost him the pole. It was his fifth finish in the top five.
"Starting in the back definitely makes it harder because track position is really key on these big tracks," Poole said. "We were just a little tight today. Had we had the car rotating a little bit better, I think it wouldn't have been an issue."
Series leader Chris Buescher finished fourth, his seventh top-five finish of the season. With his second place finish, Poole cut Buescher's lead to 35 points.
Difficult switch: Action sports star Travis Pastrana is making his Chicago debut Sunday, and the transition from his dirt track, stunt-filled past to the pavement hasn't been easy.
He has had help from truck series driver Matt Crafton, learning the ins and outs of racing stock cars. But Pastrana feels that he still has a ways to go before he will be comfortable.
"The more competition you have, the longer the learning curve," he said. "When you look at NASCAR, there are so many guys who are so good. The fine line in this is so precise, so it is going to take time."