Texas Motor Speedway was the site of James Buescher's last championship eight years ago and when he competes in Friday evening's WinStar World Casino 350 it could turn out to be the site that determines his most important title quest to date.
Buescher, a 22-year-old native of Plano, Texas who won the speedway's Bandolero Young Gun Series as a teenager, returns to his home track in a strong position to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship with Turner Motorsports and further cement his reputation as one of the sport's rising stars.
Buescher (No. 31 Great Clips Chevrolet) claimed the series points lead from rookie Ty Dillon following Saturday's race at Martinsville and heads to Texas Motor Speedway holding a 21-point advantage with two races remaining. While Dillon limped home to a 28th-place finish following a blown tire, Buescher battled back from a lap down to secure a sixth-place finish and the championship lead.
Buescher, who finished third in the NCWTS championship last year, is enjoying a breakout season that has propelled him atop the championship standings. He leads the series in wins (4) and top-five finishes (10), and has finished among the top 10 in 14 of the 19 races, including nine of his last 10.
He has excelled on 1.5-mile layouts as all four of his wins (Chicago, Kansas and Kentucky twice) have come on that configuration. Texas Motor Speedway may be a boon to his championship chances, with it being a 1.5-mile speedway and also his "home track."
Buescher has three top-10 finishes in his last five starts at Texas Motor Speedway, with a best of sixth twice (2010 summer and fall events). He has been a strong qualifier during that span, with four starts among the top four. That includes a season sweep of the NCWTS poles last season.
"I'm really looking forward to going back to my home track," Buescher said. "Texas Motor Speedway is where I first started my racing career, so to be able to come back home this weekend with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead really means a lot to me. We had a race get away from us earlier this year at Texas, so I'm really excited about the chance to put our Great Clips Silverado in Victory Lane for the first time at my home track."