NASCAR Nationwide Series - Johnsonville Sausage 200
June 22nd, 2013 - Road America
Making his first road course start in nearly two years, James Buescher and his regular Turner Scott Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) crew came into Road America looking to gain experience for the pending road course race that the NCWTS will run later this season. During practice, Buescher looked to get accustomed with the 4.048-mile Road America race track heading into the 50-lap race on Saturday afternoon. During the Johnsonville Sausage 200, Buescher was successful in keeping his No. 34 Wolfpack Energy Services clean of damage all day and brought home bring home a top-15 finish in a 14th-place finish.
With very limited experience on road courses, Buescher came into the race at Road America with the goal to finish all the laps and learn for his upcoming NCWTS race. Starting in the 29th spot, Buescher quickly gained 10 spots on the first lap. When the first full-course yellow flag flew on lap five, this played perfectly into the No. 34 Wolfpack Energy Services team’s strategy. Buescher took advantage of the full-course yellow and ducked down pit road for four Goodyear Eagles, Sunoco fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. With many different pit strategies up and down pit road, Buescher fell back in the running order to 30th. Following the restart, Buescher eventually reported to the crew that his Camaro was lacking rear grip. Near the half-way mark of the race, Buescher revisited pit road with crew chief Michael Shelton calling for a big air-pressure swing to help the handling of the No. 34 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevrolet Camaro.
When the yellow flag flew on lap 31, Buescher was running in the 30th spot. However, Shelton was confident in his race strategy and told Buescher to stay on track when most of the leaders pitted. This worked well as Buescher restarted the race in the lead. When the green flag flew, the fresher tires of the competitors behind Buescher proved to be quicker, causing Buescher to drop in the running order.
When the next full-course yellow was displayed on lap 39, again this worked in favor of the Wolfpack Energy Services team and allowed Buescher to duck down pit road for his last pit stop of the day. Pitting this late ensured that the No. 34 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevy was good for at least a couple green-white-checkered attempts, if needed. After working his way up to the 18th running spot, the yellow flag was once again displayed and forced the 50-lap race to go into overtime for the first green-white-checkered attempt. The Wolfpack Energy Services team felt that this wasn't going to be the only one they were going to see and they were correct. A second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish took place, and Buescher once again took advantage and earned a solid top-15 finish, coming home in 14th.
I felt like we came here and accomplished what we were trying to. We were able to gain experience, stay clean all day and bring our Wolfpack Energy Services car home with a very satisfying top-15 finish. I think my team was able to learn a lot this weekend that we will be able to use when we go race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the truck later this summer. - James Buescher
Start - 29, Finish - 14, Laps Led - 1, Points - 0