NASCAR Nationwide Series - Drive to Stop Diabetes 300
March 15th, 2014 - Bristol Motor Speedway
Shortly before qualifying started for the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300, the RAB Racing No. 99 Rheem team noticed something was a miss in their motor. The Rheem team got approval from NASCAR and opted to change the motor just before the qualifying session started. For the first time this year, the Rheem team made it into the final round of Knockout qualifying. Also in the process, Buescher posted his best qualifying effort in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car at Bristol Motor Speedway, with an eighth place starting position. When the green flag released the 40-car field, the leader wasted no time in setting a feverish pace. On lap 53 Buescher radioed to his crew that his Rheem Camry was tight through the middle on both ends of the track. Buescher would end up settling into the 13th position during the opening half of the race. It was on lap 66 that the leader caught the No. 99 and put Buescher a lap down. On lap 96 the race saw its third yellow flag of the day and Buescher brought his No. 99 Rheem Camry down to the attention of his crew. The crew made a major chassis and air-pressure adjustment and also gave Buescher four Goodyear Eagle tires and Sunoco fuel. Buescher on the ensuing restart was able to gain some track position and stay close to the lucky dog position. Another long green flag stretch resulted in Buescher losing some ground to the leader as Buescher's Camry kept getting tighter as the run went on. The yellow flag was once again displayed just shy of the half way point of the 300 lap race. The No. 99 Rheem team opted to take the waive around and put them back on the lead lap. While continuing to fight to stay on the lead lap, Buescher endured some close-quarters racing. On lap 228, the Rheem team got their second chance to tune on their Toyota Camry. Similar to the first pit stop, the No.99 Rheem team gave Buescher four tires, fuel and made a chassis adjustment. With just under 100 laps remaining, Buescher fought hard to get back on the lead lap, Buescher however ran out of laps and would go on to finish in the 13th-position, one lap down.
My Toyota Camry started off the race handling pretty good, but as the race went on it started to get tighter and tighter. We had to fight to hang on until we were able to get some adjustments in it. After the first stop we made it better but dealing with the traffic was really difficult and we lost some track position. Its really hard to clear traffic at this track if you're on the top. It was a long day for our Rheem crew but after the last stop we thought we loosened it up but it turns out we broke something in the sway bar. We're not done working, we'll go to California and try to improve on this finish. - James Buescher
Start - 8, Finish - 13, Laps Led - 0, Points - 31