James Buescher, No. 31 Central Wire Chevrolet Silverado Atlanta Motor Speedway Post Race ReportPress Release
No. 31 Central Wire Chevrolet
Atlanta Motor Speedway – Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 – August 31, 2012
James Buescher brought home his eighth top-five and 10th top-10 finish of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, maintaining the second position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point standings and closing to within six points of the championship lead. After leading six laps and running in the top-three for almost every lap of the 200-mile event, Buescher drove the Central Wire Chevrolet Silverado to a third-place finish in the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200.
After laying down a fastest lap of 31.391 in qualifying, Buescher took the green flag from the third position. After five laps of hard side-by-side racing to defend the third spot, Buescher settled into his position for the first 30 laps of the race. When the first caution flag of the night waved on lap 31, Buescher relayed to the Turner Motorsports crew that his Central Wire Chevrolet was handling a bit on the free side, which was his preference. However, on a scale of one to 10, the No. 31 machine was a four or five loose, and he asked crew chief Michael Shelton to get him closer to a two. Shelton called his driver onto pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, sending Buescher back onto the track in third for the lap-36 restart.
After taking the green flag with the very minor adjustment, it took only 10 laps for Buescher to work his way into the lead. He held the position for six laps before he realized how hard the No. 3 and No. 18 trucks were racing him and each other, and he decided to slip back into third and let them duke it out up front and wear out their equipment. “I’ll be faster than them later, I’m not going to use up my stuff now,” said the Texan.
Buescher consistently held the third spot until green-flag pit stops began on lap 78, and he radioed Shelton that the No. 31 was beginning to get snug in the center, which was making it snap loose. Buescher brought the Central Wire machine down pit road under green on lap 84, and the Turner Motorsports crew serviced him with four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. As pit stops cycled through, Buescher reclaimed the third spot, then took over second on lap 96. 10 laps later, the yellow flag waved for debris in what was ultimately the final caution period of the night. Knowing the importance of fresh tires at the Georgia track, Buescher made one final pit stop for four new Goodyears, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. After a great stop by the Turner Motorsports team, Buescher took to the track in third for the final green flag of the night on lap 110.
The closing 20 laps were an intense three-wide shootout, and the hard racing and fast tire wear led to a slick finish where the drivers raced on the edge of spinning out in every turn. Despite briefly forcing his way back into second place, the top-two trucks were simply faster in the final miles, and Buescher crossed the finish line in the third position.
James Buescher: “We had a really fast Central Wire Chevrolet from the get go, and when we got into the lead early, I thought it was going to stay that way. We were a little loose in the beginning, tightened it up a bit too much, then corrected back to loose. With good tires we could really make the top and bottom of the track work for us, but Atlanta’s a place where once tires get worn, you’re ice skating out there. I probably felt like I was going to spin out eight or nine times in the last 20 laps, but that’s part of what makes this track fun and competitive. I know we wanted to win this race tonight, but we can’t win them all, and ultimately the fastest truck won. We had a really good points night; we’re close to getting the championship lead and hopefully when we get to Iowa I’ll be able to get the win and lead.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series enjoys one off-weekend before heading back to Iowa Speedway for the second event of the season at the Newton, Iowa facility. The American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee goes green on Saturday, September 15th at 8:00 PM ET.
Fastest Lap: 31.157
Fastest Lap: 31.445
Fastest Lap: 31.391
Laps Completed / Total Laps: 130 / 130
- Turner Motorsports Press Release
Article Tags: American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee, AMS, Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway, James Buescher, Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NNS, Turner Motorsports