NASCAR Nationwide Series - Subway Firecracker 250
July 5th, 2013 - Daytona International Speedway
James Buescher, who formerly won in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) at Daytona International Speedway, went down to Daytona to make his second NNS start of 2013. After starting the Subway Firecracker 250 in the 17th position, Buescher was looking to make some friends and searching around for a drafting partner during the first half of the race; however, when it came down to when it counted, Buescher was able to get hooked up with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standout Matt Kenseth and the two rocketed to the front of the field. With a green/white/checkered restart, Buescher was able to push Kenseth out to the lead and brought the Florida Lottery Camaro home in the second-finishing spot.
When the green flag released the 40-car field for the Subway Firecracker 250, Buescher and the No. 34 Florida Lottery entry lined up in the 17th starting spot. Not being a NNS regular, Buescher started the race off looking for a drafting partner. Buescher was able to find some drafting help and got his Florida Lottery car up into the top 10 for a period of time. With no yellow flags early in the race, Buescher brought his No. 34 Florida Lottery Camaro down pit road for two right-side Goodyear Eagle tires and fuel for a green flag pit stop. When the first yellow flag was displayed on lap 49, Buescher once again ducked down pit road, this time for fuel only.
Just after the restart, Buescher found his Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson, and the two worked their way up from just inside the top 15 to the top of the leaderboard for a couple of laps, with Buescher leading a lap on lap 65. Another yellow flag and pit stop caused the two to get separated and forced them to find new drafting partners. With just over 20 laps to go, Buescher was left without a drafting partner until Kenseth lost his partner when he nearly crashed down the backstretch. Buescher and Kenseth found each other and the two worked their way to the front of the field. Buescher had a strong car that was able to push Kenseth without having any overheating issues, so the two planned to work together throughout the remaining laps of the Subway Firecracker 250. The notorious “big one” took place on lap 97, forcing the race to go into overtime with a green/white/checkered finish. Buescher once again got hooked up with Kenseth and the two got out to a big lead over the rest of the field. Entering Turn 3 on the final lap, Buescher and Kenseth became disconnected, and Buescher wasn’t able to get around Kenseth for the win. However, he brought his No. 34 Florida Lottery Chevrolet home in the runner-up spot, earning his best finish of the season.
I didn't know that our Florida Lottery team had a car capable of competing for the win until I got hooked up with my teammate Kyle Larson after the first yellow flag. With 20 laps to go, I was kind of the odd-man out looking for a drafting partner until Matt Kenseth was able to work with us after he lost his drafting partner. He was the first car I could push all day without getting hot. It worked out great during the restarts that we were able to get hooked back up. The plan for the green/white/checkered was to push and get far out from the rest of the field, and if we got a big enough lead I was going to try to make a move. Coming to the white flag, I was pushing water and fell off his bumper. I wish we had been able to make a move for the win, but I was also glad to be able to get back to the finish line in the second position. I’m really proud of this Florida Lottery team. - James Buescher
Start - 17, Finish - 2, Laps Led - 1, Points - 0