Brooklyn, MI – James Buescher claimed his first win of the season after passing Kyle Busch for the lead in the closing laps of Saturday's 200-mile Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Buescher, the defending truck champion, had not been a factor in the race until after a restart with six laps to go. He charged from third to take the lead from Busch when Busch got loose and wiggled with less than four laps remaining. He beat Busch to the finish line by 0.55 seconds for his fifth career truck victory.
Buescher's first four wins in the series came during his 2012 title season, and all of them occurred on 1.5-mile racetracks. Michigan is two miles in length.
"I'm happy to get back to victory lane," said Buescher, who led just the final four laps. "The first half of this race was tough. We couldn't catch any breaks and couldn't get into position where we needed to be. It was just tough battling through traffic. But we got the balance right and figured out where I needed to position myself to make passes. The last five guys I passed was entering into turn 3 and then finished it off in turn 4."
Busch was attempting to win a truck race at Michigan for the first time. He has now finished second here four times. Busch has a victory in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at this track.
"I don't know where Buescher came from, but he got by me, passed me and beat me," said Busch, who led a total of 33 laps.
Ty Dillon finished third after bouncing back from a pit-road mishap just past the halfway point. He fell to 15th in the field when his team encountered a problem with the changing of his tires.
Joey Logano took the fourth spot, and Miguel Paludo was fifth. Paludo had been battling Busch for the lead before Buescher moved into the top spot.
Timothy Peters finished sixth, followed by John Wes Townley, Brendan Gaughan and Matt Crafton, who presently holds a 51-point lead in the championship standings. Crafton rebounded from a pit-road penalty for a tire that escaped his pit stall. He has finished in the top-10 in each of the first 12 races this season.
Rookie Jeb Burton started on the pole and led the most laps with 41, but Burton faded in the late going to finish 10th.
Burton remained second in the standings, while Buescher moved up to third, trailing Burton by only one point.
Ryan Blaney, also a rookie this season, spun and crashed into the inside retaining wall on the backstretch when Darrell Wallace Jr. bumped his front end during the opening lap. Blaney, who won the most recent race two weeks ago at Pocono, finished last in the 32-truck field.
"The 54 (Wallace) just turned left on me and wrecked me," Blaney said. "It's just unfortunate. We went from first in the last race to dead last here after being wrecked."
The next truck race is on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway.