With just six races remaining in the 2012 season, James Buescher finds himself in a familiar place. Going into Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year, the driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet sat just three points behind eventual champion Austin Dillon. This season he’s just four markers behind Dillon’s younger brother Ty, but in 2011, Buescher moved away from the championship lead as the races wore down, finishing third in the standings. In those final five events, the driver of the No. 31 posted an average finish of 13th, and a third-place spot in the standings was pretty impressive given he had one less start than the rest of the leaders.
*In a Nutshell:* James Buescher took the checkered flag 1.292 seconds ahead of Parker Kligerman in Friday night’s Kentucky 201 at Kentucky Speedway. Buescher led three times for a race high 64 laps en route to his fourth victory of the year. Ty Dillon, Joey Coulter and Brian Scott rounded out the top 5.
*Who Should Have Won:* James Buescher. Turner Motorsports and Buescher in particular have excelled all year on the intermediate tracks, and Kentucky was no different. After qualifying eighth, the driver of the No. 30 Chevrolet spent just 33 laps working his way toward the front. He took the lead for the final time on pit road under the sixth caution and never looked back, pulling out to a more than two-second lead at times.
With just seven races remaining to determine the 2012 Camping World Truck Series champion, the series heads off to Kentucky Speedway for a Nationwide Series companion race this weekend. While a visit to Kentucky may not be all that spectacular on its own, six champions have also won in the Bluegrass state during their respective championship seasons.
It all began back in 2000, the inaugural season for the Truck Series at Kentucky when Greg Biffle snagged his third of five wins that year, in a season where he finished outside the top 14 just once; a 25th-place result at Texas in November. Just two years later, it was Mike Bliss who scored his third of five victories in 2002, winning the championship after leading the standings for the final ten races of the year.
Something odd is happening in NASCAR. Should you only watch the Cup coverage on Sunday, you wouldn’t notice. But tune in on Saturday or even the occasional Friday and the difference can’t be avoided. After about four seasons, a herd of young drivers are ready to stampede over the list of about 30 names that …
*In a Nutshell:* Ryan Blaney took the checkered flag 0.168 seconds ahead of Ty Dillon to win the American 200 Saturday night at Iowa Speedway. Blaney survived four restarts and a hard charge from Dillon to grab his first career Truck Series victory in his third start. Todd Bodine, Johnny Sauter and Cale Gale rounded out the top 5.
*Who Should Have Won:* *Ryan Blaney.* Parker Kligerman started on the pole and looked to be the guy to beat, having led 107 laps on the night, until late-race pit strategy forced the driver of the No. 7 to make a green flag pit stop.
The Camping World Truck Series rolls into Iowa Speedway for a standalone event this weekend, but the off week wasn’t without its problems–at least for one driver. Dakoda Armstrong became the latest victim of the sponsorship woes that have plagued the series for a few years now, and 2012 in particular. He marks the third rookie this season to have started intent on running the full schedule only to have the rug pulled from beneath them, though Max Gresham’s parting with Joe Denette Motorsports hinged on performance more than sponsorship.
Having made 15 starts behind the wheel of the No. 98 Toyota for ThorSport Racing, Armstrong showcased a variety of different sponsors and even posted a career-best finish of third at Michigan International Speedway just a few weeks ago. In a rookie campaign that has featured plenty of ups and downs, Armstrong appeared to be making some improvements week after week but never managed to find enough backing to finish off the season. As a result, next year remains up in the air for the young driver, however he definitely has age on his side when it comes to finding another home somewhere across NASCAR.
Ty Dillon’s victory in last Friday night’s Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway marked the 11th different–and sixth first-time–winner in the Camping World Truck Series this year. The current record for most wins in a single season sits at 14–set in 1998 and 2005–and with eight races left on the schedule, it’s a mark that could be broken.
But the question that remains: who might break through and add their name to the list of victors?
At Talladega anyone could make a trip to victory lane in that race – assuming all 36 trucks aren’t wiped out in a massive wreck. After all, remember what happened at the last superspeedway race the Truck Series had in Daytona this February. John King executed an ill-timed bump on Johnny Sauter, sending him spinning and ended up snagging the victory. But that wild card aside, there are plenty of drivers that have yet to win this year and could easily do so before season’s end.
*In a Nutshell:* Ty Dillon took the checkered flag 3.227 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to win the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dillon passed Busch for the lead with just six laps remaining and never looked back en route to his first career victory. James Buescher, Parker Kligerman and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 5.
_Welcome to the latest edition of Miguel Paludo’s Driver Diary. Every few weeks, Miguel sits down and tells the Frontstretch all about the latest in his on track career as well as his personal life. Kick back and enjoy as Paludo dishes on Bristol, looks forward to Atlanta and so much more._
We were a little off in practice at Bristol. We tried some different things with the right front because Dover is one-mile long and concrete and Bristol is almost the same, just shorter. We had a plan to try and if it didn’t work, we could go back to what the No. 30 and No. 31 (teammates Nelson Piquet, Jr. and James Buescher) had. And we actually did that because first practice wasn’t really good, and then in the second practice we were around 12th. My hopes were to qualify in that same area, around 12th or 13th, but we just didn’t have speed in qualifying.
*In a Nutshell:* Timothy Peters trounced the field and took the checkered flag 0.465 seconds ahead of teammate Parker Kligerman to win with UNOH 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Peters took the lead before completing the first lap and never relinquished the top spot all night long. Ross Chastain, Joey Coulter and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top 5.
*Who Should Have Won:* Timothy Peters. What more is there to say really? Despite several attempts by his competitors, Peters’ No. 17 Toyota was unbeatable Wednesday night. Add in that he and his crew were flawless on every visit to pit road and there’s no reason to believe anyone else should have won the race.