- Lofton On Rebound After Reuniting With Eddie Sharp Racing
- Rookie Dillon Following Family Legacy, Looking To Contend For 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 4, 2012) - When Plano, Texas native James Buescher started racing Bandoleros on the .2-mile Lil' Texas Motor Speedway, he never thought he would end up in the NASCAR ranks. Fast forward 10 years later and the 22-year-old Buescher has wins in two of NASCAR's three major series, and he's becoming an annual contender for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
Last season, Buescher finished a career-best third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship despite missing the series' second race in Phoenix. He raced his way into contention for the championship with consistent top-10 finishes week after week, but a couple of unlucky finishes near the end of the season cost him the title.
"We had a very successful season last year," Buescher said. "Someone made a comment that we had more points per race than any other driver in the series. We were very successful every race. We had a mishap early in the season and missed a race because we weren't locked in, but we worked hard to overcome it. We ran really competitive on a weekly basis on a variety of race tracks. It was a battle right down to the end."
Buescher has picked up this season right where he left off in 2011, earning four top-10 finishes in his six starts highlighted by his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Kansas. The consistency has him situated fourth in the series championship hunt, just 16 points behind the leader, Justin Lofton, as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400 (8 p.m. CT start).
At this rate, he looks to be a contender for the championship again this season and should he capture his first title he would become the third Texan to win a major NASCAR championship, joining Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte.
"I started racing when I was 12," Buescher said. "I'd say that's a young start, but a lot of these drivers got started when they were four or five so I got a late start in the NASCAR world. But I worked at a fast pace. I'm only 22 right now, so it's been less than 10 years since I've been racing and it's been a whirlwind for sure."
Buescher's racing adventure started as a hobby with his father, Dean, as the two raced Legends and Bandoleros at Lil' Texas Motor Speedway, which is situated on the Texas Motor Speedway property adjacent to the TMS Dirt Track behind the backstretch grandstands of the 1.5-mile oval.
"It wasn't like when we started we said we're going to start racing so we can get to NASCAR," Buescher said. "We started racing because we thought it was fun. And it built from there."
By the time Buescher was ready for NASCAR competition, he had raced and won on every track at Texas Motor Speedway except the 1.5-mile oval. Buescher now has six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts on the 1.5-mile track with two poles and a top finish of sixth (twice), but he's still looking for his first big Texas win.
"I'm trying to make it a perfect record at the facility," said Buescher, who swept the NCWTS pole positions at Texas Motor Speedway last season. "I definitely have that on my shoulders when I come back here. That’s a goal I’d like to have is to win at my home track. That’s pretty important to me."
Tickets for the WinStar World Casino 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race are still available and can be purchased by calling (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
NOTE: Buescher will return to Lil' Texas Motor Speedway Wednesday for a special race with his toughest competition - his wife, Krishtian, who also is a former Legends driver. The track marks the spot where the recently married Bueschers first met and the two will square off for bragging rights. The event will begin at 4 p.m. CT.
California native Justin Lofton is on a competition rebound in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season as he recently took the championship lead with his career first win at Charlotte after reuniting with Eddie Sharp Racing.
Lofton, 26, struggled in his first two years of Camping World Truck Series racing, lacking the connection and success he had with team owner Eddie Sharp in the ARCA Racing Series. Lofton and Sharp earned the 2009 ARCA championship, but the two split as Lofton was making the move to truck competition in 2010.
“We all went our separate ways after 2009,” Sharp said. “It wasn’t because we didn’t want to be together. He wanted to move to the next level. I didn’t have a program. I wasn’t ready to make that leap. I told him never to lose his confidence, and he lost it. When he walked back through my door, we got it back.”
Sharp made the leap to truck competition last season as Lofton was competing fulltime for Germain Racing. The two found a way to reunite mid-season, however, as Sharp's driver Craig Goess left the team and Germain began the course of scaling back its Camping World Truck Series program allowing Lofton to seek other opportunities.
Now Sharp and Lofton are in sync again and enjoying the success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In Lofton's six starts this season, he has yet to finish outside of the top 10.
"I'm confident in my abilities," Lofton said. "In this sport and in this garage, it's very easy to get knocked down. You've got to hold yourself up and tell yourself that you have the ability. I'm confident because of what I have behind me."
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ty Dillon may be a rookie among tough competition this season, but he's no stranger to winning as he's a pure-bred champion racer and looking to contend for this season’s championship.
Dillon, grandson of championship-winning team owner Richard Childress, already has proven he can win a championship as a rookie. He earned the 2011 ARCA Racing Series title in just his first fulltime season in the series. Dillon's brother, Austin, won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship and now Dillon is looking to keep the title in the family.
"We've set our goals to go out and battle for a championship even though it is our rookie season," Dillon, 20, said. "I've got the confidence in my guys. I've got the guys I won the ARCA championship with last year and I've got the equipment that won the truck series championship last year, so we've got a lot of confidence going into the championship battle."
Dillon currently is third in the series championship behind six top-10 finishes, including one among the top five. He made his Texas Motor Speedway debut in November racing in the WinStar World Casino 350 - his second career truck series start – and finished third.\
"I enjoy everything about Texas,” Dillon said. “I love the speed and the way the trucks race around that place is pretty cool. It's really tough to pass on the bottom with how high the speeds are getting around there. It's a really fun place and I can't wait to get back."
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season is six races in and the competition is as tight as ever with no repeat race winners to date. The top-five drivers are separated by just 22 points with championship leader Justin Lofton holding a one-point lead over Timothy Peters heading into Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400. … Todd Bodine became the sixth different winner on the season with his win this past weekend at Dover, his 22nd victory in 196 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The season’s winners include three first timers - Lofton (Charlotte), John King (Daytona) and James Buescher (Kansas), as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick (Martinsville) and Kasey Kahne (Rockingham). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has seen one repeat pole winner in 2012 with Harvick (Martinsville, Dover) and four drivers who have earned their first career poles - Ty Dillon (Charlotte), Tim George Jr. (Kansas), Nelson Piquet Jr. (Rockingham) and Miguel Paludo (Daytona). … An autograph session with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers will be held 4:30-5:30 p.m. CT Friday between Gates 6 and 7 prior to the WinStar World Casino 400.
WinStar World Casino 400 Entry List
Last Update: 6/4/12 @ 12:07 PM CT
|Entry ||Veh # ||Driver ||Owner ||Crew Chief ||Veh Mfg ||Sponsor |
|1 ||2 ||Brendan Gaughan(i) ||Delana Harvick ||Marcus Richmond II ||12 Chevrolet ||South Point |
|2 ||3 ||Ty Dillon ||Richard Childress ||Scott Naset ||12 Chevrolet ||Bass Pro Shops |
|3 ||5 ||Paulie Harraka ||David Dollar ||Richard Wauters ||12 Ford ||TBA |
|4 ||6 ||Justin Lofton ||Eddie Sharp ||Daniel Bormann ||10 Chevrolet ||Collegecomplete.com |
|5 ||* 7 ||John King ||Tom Deloach ||Chad Kendrick ||12 Toyota ||Red Horse Racing |
|6 ||07 ||Johnny Chapman ||Ken Smith ||Chris Jones ||12 Toyota ||Wear Your Gear/ BOBBER.info |
|7 ||08 ||Ross Chastain ||Bobby Dotter ||Bryan Berry ||12 Toyota ||Watermelon/Holiday Inn Express |
|8 ||9 ||Ron Hornaday Jr ||Joe Denette ||Jeff Hensley ||12 Chevrolet ||TBA |
|9 ||09 ||John Wes Townley ||Robby Benton ||Chris Rice ||12 Toyota ||Toyota |
|10 ||10 ||Jennifer Jo Cobb ||Jennifer Jo Cobb ||Steve Kuykendall ||12 RAM ||Driven2Honor.org |
|11 ||11 ||Todd Bodine ||Tom Deloach ||Rick Gay Jr ||12 Toyota ||Red Horse Racing |
|12 ||13 ||Johnny Sauter ||Mike Curb ||Joe Shear ||12 Toyota ||Hot Honeys-Curb Records |
|13 ||17 ||Timothy Peters ||Tom Deloach ||Butch Hylton ||12 Toyota ||Red Horse Racing |
|14 ||18 ||Jason Leffler ||Kyle Busch ||Eric Phillips ||12 Toyota ||Dollar General |
|15 ||22 ||Joey Coulter ||Richard Childress ||Harold Holly ||12 Chevrolet ||RCR |
|16 ||23 ||Jason White ||Steve Urvan ||Doug George ||12 Ford ||Gunbroker.com |
|17 ||24 ||Max Gresham ||Bob Germain ||Richie Snyder ||12 Chevrolet ||Made in USA Brand |
|18 ||27 ||TBA ||Michael Hillman ||TBA ||12 Chevrolet ||TBA |
|19 ||29 ||Parker Kligerman ||Brad Keselowski ||Doug Randolph ||12 RAM ||Reese Towpower |
|20 ||30 ||Nelson Piquet Jr ||Steve Turner ||Chris Carrier ||12 Chevrolet ||Qualcomm-Autotrac |
|21 ||31 ||James Buescher ||Steve Turner ||Michael Shelton ||12 Chevrolet ||Koike.com |
|22 ||32 ||Miguel Paludo ||Steve Turner ||Michael Hillman Jr ||12 Chevrolet ||Unite for Diabetes-Duroline Brakes |
|23 ||33 ||Cale Gale ||Delana Harvick ||Jerry Baxter ||11 Chevrolet ||Rheem |
|24 ||39 ||Ryan Sieg ||Susan Bates ||Tony Wilson ||12 Chevrolet ||Pull-A-Part Used Auto Parts |
|25 ||57 ||Norm Benning ||Norm Benning ||Ted Walters ||12 Chevrolet ||Norm Benning Racing |
|26 ||165 ||Scott Stenzel ||Michael Mittler ||Michael Mittler ||12 Chevrolet ||Making the Driver |
|27 ||73 ||Rick Crawford ||Ron Crosby ||Jamie Jones ||12 Chevrolet ||Trans Pecos Trucking-Superseal |
|28 ||81 ||David Starr ||Billy Ballew ||Doug Howe ||12 Toyota ||Build Your Future/Zachry |
|29 ||84 ||B J McLeod ||Chris Fontaine ||Kevin Ingram ||09 Chevrolet ||Glenden Enterprises |
|30 ||88 ||Matt Crafton ||Rhonda Thorson ||Carl Joiner ||12 Toyota ||Menard's |
|31 ||93 ||Chris Cockrum ||Pam Sieg ||Timothy Brown ||12 Chevrolet ||RSS Racing |
|32 ||98 ||Dakoda Armstrong ||Duke Thorson ||Daniel Stillman ||12 Toyota ||Ever Fi.com |
|33 ||99 ||Bryan Silas ||Stacy Compton ||Cal Boprey ||12 Ford ||Rockingham Speedway |