Kansas Speedway – SFP 250 – April 21, 2012
James Buescher and the No. 31 Progenex Chevrolet team captured their first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory on Saturday afternoon after a dominating performance, leading 103-laps at Kanas Speedway. This was Turner Motorsports’ second consecutive NCWTS trip to victory lane.
The Turner Motorsports crew spent the two practice sessions on Friday tweaking on the setup of their red and black Progenex machine. Buescher radioed to crew chief Michael Shelton, explaining the truck was turning well in the corners and he could drive his machine on both the high and low side the D-shaped oval. The No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet team made a couple of minor tweaks to their Silverado, trying to dial it in for Saturday’s 167-lap race. By the end of final practice, Buescher was first on the speed chart and was poised for a solid performance on Saturday afternoon.
Buescher started the fourth race on the NCWTS schedule on the outside of the third row, but immediately charged to the front. By lap 10, he had his Chevy Silverado well inside the top-five, running lap times faster than the leader.
On lap 14, the 22-year-old driver radioed to Shelton, explaining that his truck was tight-handling in the middle of the corners, which was hurting his ability to get back to the gas effectively. However, the tight condition Buescher felt certainly did not hinder his ability to click off fast laps.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 36, the No. 31 Progenex team prepared for their firs pit stop of the day. Buescher rolled down the pit lane on the very next lap for service. The pit crew went to work changing four Goodyear tires and filled their truck with Sunoco racing fuel. They also made a slight air-pressure adjustment to the right side tires to stabilize the truck for the next green-flag segment.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 40, and Buescher’s Chevrolet Silverado was scored in the runner-up position. It only took ten laps for the Texas native to capture the race lead and start to pull away from the field. He radioed into his crew, describing the truck as a tick free, but he was happy with how his Progenex Chevrolet was performing.
Buescher gave up the race lead on lap 97 to make a scheduled green-flag pit stop. The team immediately went to work changing four tires and filling the Progenex Chevrolet with racing fuel. Buescher did an excellent job getting back on the racing surface and regained the race lead five laps later.
Buescher knew he had a fast machine and was patiently aggressive as made his way around the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. He radioed to his team on lap 137, explaining that his truck was really strong on both the high and low sides of the racing surface, which clearly showed on the speed chart as he was consistently two tenths better than the rest of the field.
Buescher spent the final 14 laps in the point position and crossed under the checkered flag to capture his first career NCWTS victory. With the win, Buescher moved up to second in the series standings, only four makers behind point leader Timothy Peters.
“What a day,” commented Buescher after the victory. “We have been so close so many times, and we finally closed the deal. I knew we had a great truck yesterday in practice, but I knew I had to be smart all day to have a chance to win. We knew there was going to be a lot of green-flag racing, and my guys did a great job all day on pit road. I feel like everything is really coming together for us. We have been a contender each and every week, and if we are going to race for the championship, we have to continue to battle up front. This team is relentless and I love that we finally get to celebrate our first win. I want to thank Steve and Sandra Turner for all they have done to help get us to this point. Michael Shelton and all the guys at Turner Motorsports are unbelievable. Exide Batteries, AccuDoc Solutions, Koike, and Progenex have all been so supportive of what we are trying to accomplish at Turner Motorsports and we are forever grateful for their support. This will always be such a special day for all of us on the No. 31 Turner Motorsports team.”
The No. 31 Turner Motorsports team will be back in action in three weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the N.C. Education Lottery 200 will be televised on SPEED Fri., May 18 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The race will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90.