Buescher rallies for third truck win this season
Joliet, IL (Sports Network) - James Buescher bounced back from a carburetor issue and then a two-lap deficit to win Saturday night's American Ethanol 225 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Buescher dealt with an ill-handling truck early in the race and then made a lengthy pit stop just before the halfway point to allow his team to replace the faulty carburetor.
But Buescher rebounded nicely from there, as he drove past Timothy Peters for the lead just before the caution flag waved for an incident involving pole sitter Justin Lofton with six laps remaining.
After the final restart with two laps to go, Peters ran side-by-side with Buescher and then slightly pulled ahead of Buescher to lead the penultimate lap.
Buescher reclaimed the top position from Peters on the final lap. Brendan Gaughan also drove past Peters to take second. Buescher then held off Gaughan at the finish by 0.25 seconds for his third victory in the series this year. He remains the only repeat winner so far during the 2012 truck season.
"It was frustrating early on, but it's kind of the motto that we've had all year, 'Never give up'," Buescher said. "We had a carburetor issue but got it fixed. We couldn't keep up at the beginning of the race, and then we really had trouble and went two laps down fixing it."
Gaughan led 83 of the 150 laps and held the top spot during a late-race caution, but Gaughan spun his tires on the restart, allowing Peters to slip by him for the lead.
"I spun my tires on the restart and gave everybody a chance, and then had to battle back to get second," Gaughan said. "It's a bummer...I'm still bitter that this should have been mine."
Peters, the current points leader, had to rebound from adversity as well. He had to start from the rear of the field due to an engine change.
"I'm satisfied with (the finish), because this team really overcomes adversity," said Peters, who placed third. "We changed engines, and we probably didn't even get 10 laps of practice between both sessions yesterday. The guys did a good job getting it changed quick."
Matt Crafton finished fourth, followed by Parker Kligerman and Cale Gale. Ron Hornaday Jr. spun sideways across the finish line, holding on for a seventh- place run. Jason Leffler, Jason White and David Starr completed the top-10.
Rookie Ty Dillon led a total of 17 laps late in the race, but Dillon's opportunity to win his first race in the series came to an end when he got bumped around in tight traffic and fell in the field following a restart with less than 10 laps to go. His 12th-place run marked the first time he has finished outside the top-10 this season.
Todd Bodine, who made his 200th career truck start, finished 18th.
Peters now holds a season-high 23-point lead over Dillon, while Lofton dropped 30 points behind after his 21st-place finish. Buescher trails Peters by 35 markers.
"We've got to keep closing the gap on the championship lead," Buescher noted. "We got a lot of racing left, and it's a good way to start this next stretch."
07/21 23:53:41 ET