Buescher dominant in Kentucky truck race
Sparta, KY – James Buescher became the first repeat race winner in the Camping World Truck Series this season with a victory in Thursday night's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
With air temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees at this 1.5-mile Northern Kentucky racetrack, Buescher put on a dominating performance by leading 119 of 150 laps. He crossed the finish line 3.8 seconds ahead of Sprint Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski for his second career truck win. His first victory came in April at Kansas.
The 2012 Truck Series season featured seven different winners in as many races before Buescher snapped that streak.
Buescher also won the Nationwide Series season-opener in February at Daytona. In his most recent Nationwide start two weeks ago, he finished a close second to Joey Logano at Michigan.
"That's three races in a row where, in the closing laps of the race, for me, Trucks or Nationwide Series, that I had an opportunity to win, so hats off to all of these guys on this Turner Motorsports team," Buescher said. "I'm really happy to close off the deal today.
"In the closing laps of the race, I was just thinking what is going to go wrong, because something normally does."
After a restart with 43 laps to go, Buescher quickly charged from third to pass Keselowski and truck rookie Ty Dillon and take the lead for good. Buescher also held off Keselowski and Dillon on a restart with 36 laps left.
"We had some good restarts," Buescher said. "It's something I've worked on and tried to get better at."
Keselowski, who is also competing in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Kentucky this weekend, passed Dillon for second with two laps remaining.
"It was a good fight to get second, but not quite good enough to get the win," Keselowski said.
Dillon had to start the 225-mile race from the rear of the field due to an engine change earlier in the day.
"I blew up a motor there in practice and made a little mistake, but the guys got me out there fast enough where I could run at the end of the second practice and dialed our truck in pretty good," Dillon said after his third- place finish. "I'm really happy to come out with a good finish. It's been a long day."
Matt Crafton, the pole sitter, finished fourth, while Timothy Peters completed the top-five.
Johnny Sauter, who won the last truck race three weeks ago at Texas, took the sixth position, followed by Joey Coulter, Jason Leffler, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Kyle Larson, who made his first start in the series.
Peters is now the leader in the point standings. Justin Lofton came to Kentucky atop the rankings but fell four points behind Peters after finishing 14th. Dillon is four markers out of the lead as well.
On lap 69, Lofton was involved in an accident with Todd Bodine and Nelson Piquet Jr. Bodine dove underneath Lofton for position going into turn one, but both drivers made contact and spun into the wall, collecting Piquet in the process.
Bodine blamed Lofton for the incident.
"I thought Justin was blowing up," Bodine said. "I caught him so fast, and I didn't know what was going on. I don't know if he got loose coming off of (turn) four or what. I went under him, and obviously he wasn't blowing up. He's got plenty of room to the outside. He's got to learn to give some space here."
Piquet, who won last Saturday's Nationwide race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, started on the outside pole for this event. The Brazilian dealt with an ill-handling truck before the accident occurred.
"There's nothing I could of done other than not being in that position that far back in the field," Piquet said. "It's just frustrating."
Bodine finished 28th, one spot ahead of Piquet.