BUESCHER RETURNS TO HOME TRACK

by Dan M | Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014

 

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 31, 2014) – For James Buescher, Texas Motor Speedway is home.Buescher, who grew up in the north Dallas suburb of Plano that is 40 miles from Texas Motor Speedway, has been competing at his home track for the past decade with his success dating to a 2004 Bandolero Young Gun Series championship at Lil’ Texas Motor Speedway’s .2-mile oval.

The 24-year-old Buescher’s career has blossomed since – highlighted by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012 – and now he arrives at his home track in a new series with a new team and manufacturer.

Buescher, who has spent the past four years in the NCWTS with Turner Scott Motorsports, has moved up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will be driving the No. 99 Rheem Toyota for RAB Racing in Friday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (7:30 p.m. CT/ESPN2).

Buescher is just five races into his rookie campaign and has experienced some expected struggles thus far as he adjusts to the next level of competition. With just one top-10 finish (eighth at Bristol), he finds himself sitting ninth in the championship standings, 40 points behind co-leaders Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne.

“There were a lot of changes that happened during the offseason,” Buescher said. “New team, new series, new manufacturer, but I feel like we’ve done pretty well managing all the changes. The communication between Chris Rice (crew chief) and I has gotten a lot better through the first five races and I feel like it will only get better the more we get to work with each other.”

Buescher is hopeful his success in the truck series at Texas Motor Speedway will carry over upon his return in the Nationwide Series for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. In 10 races, Buescher earned five top-10 finishes – including a best of sixth three times – and two poles. What should provide an additional boost is that Buescher has experience in a Nationwide Series car at Texas with four starts. He won the pole in the 2010 O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge fall race and had a top finish of 11th in 2009 in that fall event as well.

“There are a lot of changes – the trucks have a lot more side force and downforce which makes it difficult to come to the Nationwide (Series) car and find the right balance that you’re looking for, especially on the mile-and-a-half tracks,” said Buescher, whose last Nationwide Series start at Texas was the fall of 2011. “I haven’t got to run very many mile-and-a-half races over the last couple of years in the Nationwide Series. It’s something I have to figure out and it was kind of my bread and butter in the truck series, but these Nationwide cars are a lot different.”

For Buescher, Texas Motor Speedway would be the ideal location to get his season back on track and there’s reason to believe that many fans in the stands will be cheering on the local talent, including a younger faction of NASCAR followers. Last November, Buescher showed his appreciation to hometown fans when he met with 3,500 local elementary students as part of Texas Motor Speedway’s “Speeding To Read” educational program. Buescher spoke with the school children along the frontstretch about his racing career and answered questions from some of the top readers across the six schools in attendance.

“That race track is pretty special to me and more so than just the racing,” Buescher said. “I basically grew up there. It’s got a lot of history for me and my family and my personal life as well as my career. It would be a really special place to have a solid run and maybe get our first win.”

Friday also will mark the first time at Texas Motor Speedway that James won’t be the only Buescher on track. His 21-year-old cousin, Chris, will be competing in just his second Nationwide Series event at Texas Motor Speedway as he’s in his first fulltime season as well. Chris Buescher (No. 60 Ford EcoBoost Ford), a native of Prosper that also is north of Dallas and about 40 miles from Texas Motor Speedway, has competed closely with his cousin this season and sits just two spots back in 11th in the championship standings

“It’s been a while since I’ve competed fulltime against my cousin, Chris,” James said. “We’ve both worked really hard in our careers to get to where we are and it’s great that we’re back on the track competing against each other on a weekly basis. So far this season, we’ve run close to each other, but I treat him like any other competitor.”

The Nationwide Series opens at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday with two practice sessions from 5-6 p.m. CT and 6:30-8 p.m. The SportsDay Qualifying Powered by The Dallas Morning News will be held Friday at 3:10 p.m. followed by the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (200 laps/300 miles) at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s race will broadcast live on ESPN2 and PRN Radio (KRLD 105.3 FM The Fan locally).

Click here for the official O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 entry list.

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