NASCAR Truck Series - UNOH 200
August 21st, 2013 - Bristol Motor Speedway
Coming off their first win of the 2013 season, James Buescher and the Rheem team looked to continue their momentum in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) Wednesday night. After posting solid practice times, Buescher was able to follow up with an eighth-place starting position. When the green flag flew on the 200-lap event, Buescher wasted no time in moving up into the top five within a couple of laps. Buescher stayed close to the top five the majority of the night, and held his ground during the wild restarts at the end of the 200-lap race., Buescher brought his No. 31 Rheem Chevrolet home in the seventh position and moved into second-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings.
During the one-day NCWTS show at BMS, the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports team unloaded with a fast Rheem Chevy showing that they would be a contender once again. Backing up their practice times in qualifying, Buescher started the UNOH 200 in the eighth spot. When the green flag released the 36-truck field, Buescher wasted no time in gaining three spots within four laps, just before the first of five yellow flags slowed the field. Restarting fifth, Buescher was caught on the bottom line and gave up a couple spots before settling into the seventh position for the first long green-flag run of the night. The race saw its second yellow flag on lap 71, which put the No. 31 Rheem team in their fuel window. The team relinquished their sixth running spot and ducked down pit road for four Goodyear Wranglers, Sunoco fuel and a chassis adjustment to help cure the loose condition that Buescher was feeling in the corners of the half-mile oval. With a stellar pit stop by the Rheem team, they were able to come back out of the pits where they entered in the sixth position. When the field went back green, it was only for a couple laps as the field was once again slowed for an accident in Turn 4.
During the second long green-flag stretch of the UNOH 200, Buescher found himself in fierce battles for a top-five running position. With an accident on lap 179, crew chief Michael Shelton had to make a decision whether to pit and give up the fifth position for fresh tires, or stay out. Buescher and the No.31 team opted for the four fresh tires and a little extra fuel. Buescher restarted seventh with just over 10 laps remaining in the 200-lap race. As the green flag waved, the field struggled to get going when the front row stumbled and sent trucks behind them spinning, immediately bringing out another yellow flag. This set up a short shootout for Buescher and NCWTS field, with Buescher restarting in the sixth position. After the restart, Buescher battled side-by-side with competitors on the short high-banked oval, ultimately bringing his Rheem Chevy home in the seventh spot. With the effort, Buescher and the No. 31 Rheem team moved up to second-place in the NCWTS point standings with nine races remaining.
I'm really proud of my entire Rheem team. With this track being so fast, anything can happen in a hurry and I'm really excited that we battled for a top five all night long. Last week's win was such a momentum boost for us. We know what lies ahead of us in this championship hunt, and we scored a top-10 finish in one of the "wild card" races. We also moved up a position in the point standings and narrowed the points lead, which was huge. We'll continue to work hard at our goal of bringing home the championship. - James Buescher
Start - 8, Finish - 7, Laps Led - 0, Points - 200