NASCAR Truck Series - Fan Appreciation 200
September 8th, 2013 - Iowa Speedway
James Buescher headed to Iowa Speedway looking to continue to chip away at the series points lead after having done so in the three previous races. Buescher and his Turner Scott Motorsports team set themselves up for a strong finish with a late-race pit stop that allowed his Exide crew to put on four sticker Goodyear tires and fill the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado up with fuel. Surviving multiple green/white/checkered attempts, Buescher drove to the lead and never looked back, earning his second victory of the season and his first victory at Iowa Speedway. Buescher continued his march forward in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings and now sits just 37 points out of first.
The teams persistence paid off through the entire final practice session as the No. 31 Exide team, led by crew chief Michael Shelton, found a setup that would allow them to have a shot at the win for Sunday afternoon. Buescher rewarded the Exide team with a third-place qualifying effort for the Fan Appreciation 200.
When the green flag was shown at Iowa Speedway, Buescher quickly jumped into the second spot and aimed to take care of him equipment for later in the race. The race saw its first yellow flag on lap 38 for a spin in Turn 1, and Buescher took advantage of the caution to bring his No. 31 Chevrolet down pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment while much of the field decided to also take Goodyear tires. Despite not having fresh tires, Buescher held his ground on the ensuing restart and continued to ride inside the top 10 throughout a long green-flag run. He came back down pit road for a green-flag pit stop on lap 123, taking four tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment.
After getting caught a lap down due to an untimely yellow flag for debris, Buescher and the Exide team decided to take the wave around, which put the No. 31 back on the lead lap. Buescher went back to work on the restart and quickly gained three spots, putting himself in the seventh spot with under 50 laps remaining. When the yellow flag was displayed again with 32 laps to go, Shelton called his driver down pit road to bolt on their four remaining sticker Goodyear tires. With the field on older tires, Buescher and the Exide team made their charge through the field and found themselves running in third position when another yellow flag slowed the field with just over 10 laps to go. Once again restarting in the third position with six laps to go, Buescher didn't have an ideal restart but he continued his tight quarter racing into one. The yellow was displayed once again when a truck spun in Turn 1. The yellow flag set up the first attempt at a green/white/checkered finish and Buescher had a very strong restart, but the field didn't get very far before the yellow flag was again displayed. Buescher found himself restarting in the second position for the second attempt at a green/white/checkered finish and quickly cleared his competition, taking the lead and claiming the checkered flag in his No. 31 Exide Silverado.
My Exide team never gave up. It was clear when we unloaded we didn't have the best of trucks this weekend, but my team kept digging deep and it paid off. We are definitely hitting on all cylinders, and we're not done yet. I am looking forward to returning to Chicagoland Speedway next week and hope we can continue our march forward. - James Buescher
Start - 3, Finish - 1, Laps Led - 9, Points - 47