After qualifying on the outside pole alongside Kyle Busch, James Buescher had high hopes for a top result at Bristol Motor Speedway, but an on-track incident on lap 84 of the 200-lap race ended his night early and relegated him to a 33rd-place ...
After qualifying on the outside pole alongside Kyle Busch, James Buescher had high hopes for a top result at Bristol Motor Speedway, but an on-track incident on lap 84 of the 200-lap race ended his night early and relegated him to a 33rd-place finish.
After two successful practice sessions, Buescher made his two-lap qualifying effort and secured another second-place starting position in his Volunteer Chevrolet Silverado. Given the importance of track position at Bristol, the young driver was poised to have a solid run.
Only 11 laps into the race, the first caution flag of the night flew for debris. Buescher reported that he was "a little tight on exit and across the center." The second caution came on lap 19, only two laps after the re-start. Buescher felt that his truck had "freed up a little," and continued to run in second-place.
By the third caution on lap 28, Buescher's truck had come to him. The team opted to stay out, but had the opportunity to come down pit road shortly after as the caution was displayed again on lap 35. Buescher brought his No. 31 Chevrolet down pit road to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel -- requesting no changes to his truck.
As with many NASCAR races, caution flags brought more caution flags and, after only two laps under green, the yellow was displayed again on lap 42 with Buescher running in the 20th-position. By the next caution on lap 52, Buescher had climbed three positions to 17th, and was beginning to make his way back up through the field. Only eight laps later, he was knocking on the door to the top-10 by running in 11th-place.
The team was already considering fuel strategy when the caution flag was displayed on lap 62, as Buescher was directed by his crew chief to "save fuel" under the caution laps. Only a few laps into what looked to be a long green flag run, Buescher had moved his Volunteer Chevrolet up into the sixth-position. He was marching his way back into the lead when he was caught up in another competitor's wreck -- damaging his truck beyond repair and ending his night less than half-way through the race.
Kyle Busch was the race winner at Bristol. Aric Almirola, Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner and Justin Lofton rounded out the top-five.
After a very short break between Darlington and Bristol, the entire No. 31 Turner Motorsports team will enjoy nearly a week before getting back on track at Chicagoland Speedway.
JAMES BUESCHER: "What a disappointing night for us. We had such a strong truck -- I was working my way back up to the front after our pit stop and we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got taken out by someone else's error. It's tough because this whole crew worked so hard to get the truck ready with our short turnaround after Darlington. Track position is so important at a place like Bristol and, it's just heartbreaking when you're running so well and your night ends early. But that's the nature of this track and we've just got to move on and prepare for Chicago next week."
-source: turner motorsports
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