James Buescher dominated Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, running away from the field in the last 30 laps to claim his second victory of the year.
Buescher wrested the lead from Matt Crafton on the 27th on the night’s 150 laps and was never seriously headed throughout the remainder of the evening, beating Brad Keselowski and Ty Dillon to the flag.
The only real drama that Buescher had all night was after the night’s sixth caution with 48 laps to go, when the leader suddenly found himself behind the trucks of Dillon and points leader Timothy Peters, who took just two tires on the caution stop to gain track position.
But it took Buescher less than a lap to render that strategy null and void, sweeping past Dillon to take the lead. He had to hold on for another restart a lap later after Cale Gale got into the wall after a slight tap from Kyle Larson, but had no problem holding on.
“Restarts are key, everybody is bunched up so you might as well take advantage it, that’s the way I look at it. It is something I have worked on and tried to be good it because it is the best way to pass,” Buescher said. “Happy to close off the deal the closing laps of the race I was thinking what could go wrong because something normally does, but nothing did.”
While Buescher ran away at the front, there was a pitched battle for the top-seven positions. Despite giving up the lead after getting his track position, Dillon held his spot at the front, running second all the way until the last three laps of the race when he finally succumbed to the pressure from NASCAR star Brad Keselowski.
“We made a little mistake and blew up an engine in practice,” Dillon said. “And it’s been a long day for our guys but it was a good finish and shows what this team is made of.”
Crafton made a hard charge in the last three laps to claim fourth, and nearly got by Dillon for third, while Peters ended up in the fifth spot. The finish gave Peters the series lead despite the fact that his Red Horse Racing truck has yet to win a race, as he leads by four points over Dillon and Justin Lofton.
Restarts are key, everybody is bunched up so you might as well take advantage it, that’s the way I look at it.
“I feel like winning is right around the corner,” Peters said. “Butch Hylton and the guys did a great job getting the truck turned around because we were nowhere when we came off the trailer.”
Of note also on the evening was the top-10 finish for 20-year-old Kyle Larson, who was making his first start in the Truck Series. A sprint-car driver that is just making his first foray into the stock-car world, Larson came from 25th on the starting grid to place 10th.