NASCAR Nationwide Series - Lilly's Diabetes 250
July 26, 2014 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Making his second start at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, James Buescher and the Rheem team rolled off the grid in the 18th starting position for Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250. At the start of the 100-lap race Buescher held his ground in the 18th position until the first yellow flag of the day was displayed for debris in Turn 1. During the first run the 24-year-old was relaying to the Rheem crew that the longer the run went, the more free that his Camry got. The Texas native took advantage of the caution period and brought his No. 99 Rheem Toyota Camry down pit road for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco racing fuel also a track bar adjustment. On the ensuing restart, Buescher was forced three-wide on the front stretch and Buescher slipped back in the running order a couple spots. The story of the day was the different fuel strategies up and down pit road, while the field started to short pit, Buescher worked his way up to the fifth running position during the pit cycle. The Rheem crew continued to adjust on their Rheem Camry in and effort to tighten up the No. 99 Rheem Camry. When the pit stops cycled all the way through, the Rheem team found themselves in a hole running in 21st position, one lap down to the leader. Buescher however was in a good position to receive the lucky dog award but came up just shy when the second of three yellow flags slowed the 40-car field. When the field was turned loose once again, Buescher quickly came over the radio reporting a possible flat left-rear tire. As the Rheem crew scrambled in the pits to prepare for a possible pit stop, Buescher came back over the radio and said that it was a false alarm. With under 30-laps remaining in the event, the third and final yellow flag of the day was displayed for debris; Buescher was running in the 26th-spot at the time. Crew chief Matt Lucas called his driver back down pit road for four sticker tires and fuel. Buescher continued the battle to stay in position to receive the lucky dog award, however luck was not on their side. Buescher would go on to finish the Lilly Diabetes 250 at the Brickyard in the 21st position, one lap down to the leader.
It wasn't the result we were looking for with our Rheem Toyota Camry. It turned into a difficult situation early when we fell down a lap during the green-flag pit stops and with the different pit strategies up and down pit road, we would get close to getting our lap back but something else ended up happening that didn't allow for it. Overall our Rheem Camry handled well and we made some good adjustments on it all day, we just lacked speed all weekend. It would have been great to get a solid finish for all the Rheem guests that were in attendance at today's race but we'll learn from this and move on to Iowa next week and try to secure another top-10 finish. - James Buescher
Start - 18, Finish - 21, Laps Led - 0, Points - 23