Defending Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher is hoping Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway will help jump start his somewhat sluggish beginning to the season.
Buescher, who is attempting to become the first driver to win back-to-back titles in the Truck Series, has yet to post a top-10 finish in the first three races this year. He sat eighth in the point standings after last Sunday's race at Rockingham, N.C., but Ron Hornaday Jr.'s loss of 25 points as part of his penalty for wrecking Darrell Wallace Jr. during a caution at Rockingham, allowed Buescher to move up to seventh in the rankings. He is 42 points behind leader Johnny Sauter.
"There's no question the season hasn't started off the way our team was hoping," Buescher said. "It's not because we haven't run well. I feel like we are always in contention for a win, but we've just been bitten by some bad luck so far and don't have the end result to show for it."
Kansas has become a special place for Buescher. The Turner Scott Motorsports driver recorded his first career truck win at this 1.5-mile racetrack. He won three more races during the 2012 season to capture the series championship.
"Kansas is definitely a special place to me and getting my first Truck Series win there was a dream come true," he said. "With the track being repaved last summer, I feel like it is a totally different track, but I feel like we can get a handle on the new surface and get the finish this team deserves."
While Buescher might be a little bit behind at this point of the season, rookie Jeb Burton isn't. The 20-year-old Burton has won the pole for the last two races -- Martinsville and Rockingham. He has finished no worse than seventh this year and is presently second in points (-16).
"This season has started out just the way we wanted it to, and I'm ready to keep the momentum going," Burton said. "Getting my first pole award at Martinsville Speedway was awesome, but doing it two weekends in a row really shows how hard my team is working for the results we're getting. I don't have a lot of experience at Kansas Speedway, so I'm definitely looking to gain more this weekend and walk away with another solid finish."
There have been 12 different winners in as many truck races at Kansas. Todd Bodine (2005), Hornaday (2008), Sauter (2010) and Buescher (2012) are those drivers competing in this race that have previously won here.
Kyle Busch and Logano are those Sprint Cup Series regulars on the entry list for this event. Busch will drive his own No. 51 Toyota, while Joey Logano is behind the wheel of the No. 19 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing. Logano finished second at Rockingham. Kyle Larson won the race there but is not entered for Kansas.
Thirty-six teams are on the preliminary entry list for the SFP 250.
Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Saturday, April 20. Race: SFP 250. Site: Kansas Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 2 p.m. ET. Laps: 167. Miles: 250.5. 2012 Winner: James Buescher. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.