Talkin' Trucks: James Buescher confident and ready to make his move


If the current battle for the NCWTS were a boxing match, the tale of the tape for Austin Dillon and James Buescher would be about even. Both are just 21 years old, Dillon is in only his second full year of driving while Buescher is in his third full-time season. The comparisons are numerous between the two young guns but the notable difference is that Dillon has four wins, while Buescher remains winless, yet still a strong competitor.

With just two races remaining, Buescher is just 11 points behind Dillon as they each attempt to become the youngest champion in the NCWTS.

Prior to the race at Texas Motor Speedway, I spoke with James Buescher and asked him a few questions as he prepares for the race and to battle Austin Dillon for the championship.

In Part One, we hear from the challenger, James Buescher, driver of the Turner Motorsports No. 31 Exide Batteries Chevrolet. Since Buescher is from nearby Plano, Texas, TMS is his home track. Though he hasn't won in the trucks, Buescher has been successful at the mile-and-a-half oval.

Amanda Ebersole (AE): You and Austin both are just 21 years old and contending for the championship. It is really unheard of to be such a fresh face and up battling for a title. What are your thoughts on this?
James Buescher (JB) Yeah it is kind of unheard of, but you see it in the Nationwide Series right now too. I guess it is just there are just young drivers in really good equipment who can win championships with good teams behind them. Like Austin Dillon and myself, we both have really good teams behind us. Good sponsors, good equipment all play into it. You see it with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., in the Nationwide Series; he has a good opportunity with Roush Racing. It is just more young drivers having better opportunities than what you have seen in the past.

AE: You are contending for a championship in only your 3rd full season, although you remain winless so far. What is the key to your consistency this season?
JB: Just racing smart and not putting us in situations that might end our day early. When we have had the 2 races where we have got caught up in crashes and had to go to the garage and the other was a DNF; any other time we have had a problem we have been able to fix our truck. If we get caught up in a wreck or have a parts failure we are able to fix it and get back on track on the lead lap. Basically, we never give up. The guys on my team are just as committed as I am, and nobody ever gives up. We are always still trying to work as hard as if we are passing for the lead and by the end of the race we are hopefully back in the top 10 or top 5. When you have a bad day you gotta turn it into a top 10 and when you have a good day you gotta capitalize and finish as well as you can by keeping yourself out of those things that could end your day early.

AE: Contending for the championship at such a young age while you have veteran drivers who struggle to remain in the sport...where does this leave you in 5-10 years, contending in the NCWTS every year or can it be a springboard to bigger and better things?
JB: The goal is to make it to the Sprint Cup level and be contending for championships at that level. Whether that happens two years from now, or five to ten years from now, I don’t know, but that is my ultimate goal. Whether I stay in Trucks for a bit longer, move up to Nationwide in between, I do not know what the path is going to be. That is the plan, whether it all works out or not, I do not know. Whatever I am in, I want to be contending for championships and wins, and I do not want to be just in a racecar to say I am in a racecar. I am a competitor and I want to compete and try to do the best I can.

AE: There is a lot of hype around you and Austin being the young guns of the NCWTS battling it out for the championship. What does it mean to you personally?
JB: I really do not know what it means to me. We have worked hard to get to where we are at. I know Austin has worked hard, I know we have worked hard. Myself and Turner Motorsports have been through a lot together to be successful in this sport and to make it to this level. You used to see guys be in the late 30s, 40s that were carrying the series, but our generation of drivers got started (most of them) when they were 4 and 5 years old. I got started when I was 12, so we all started as kids and got a lot of experience up to this point. I just think getting an earlier start in racing might have a lot to do with why you see a lot of young guns carrying the series and contending with the guys who have been here for a long time. We have a lot of experience before the NASCAR level and at a younger age.

AE: So that makes you young in NASCAR terms but not young in racing experience?
JB: Exactly!

AE: You only have two races remaining in the season, so what is your level of confidence heading into the remainder of the season? You are racing at your home track this weekend but then head to the unknown grounds of Homestead where you are average but not spectacular.
JB: I am confident. I have a good team behind me. Homestead is going to be the tough one for us; we haven’t run very well there in the past and haven't run very much there, period. It is just a different racetrack, and we are taking a truck we are really comfortable with and has done really well for us anywhere we have taken it. It is not that we will struggle with the truck, we just have to work on me getting the hang on the track better. We are taking a truck that Mark Martin ran at Michigan and Pocono, and he ran really well, so we know the truck has a lot of speed. We ran the truck once before, it has been fast. At Texas – we feel like we know what we are doing there, we have a couple poles there and we ran up in the top 5 a lot. I feel pretty good about it, hopefully we can just do the best we can and it will all work out.

AE: My last question. You drive for Turner Motorsports, which is owned by Steve Turner. Turner Motorsports is basically your family team, since you are set to marry Mr. Turner’s daughter Krishtian in the off season. (Read more on Kris and James here: Krishtian and James: A Love Story.) What would it mean to you to bring home the championship to that team and your family?
JB: I think it just brings more of a personal level because not only do I drive for the team every week, I have a lot of involvement in the day-to-day decision making and have some input on where the team goes. I have been there since it was a late-model team and now it has grown into a big, multi-car Nationwide and Truck team, so it has come a long way and I have witnessed the whole thing. It’s just cool to see the evolvement of the whole team, at the same speed I have evolved as a driver. It’s just pretty cool.

James Buescher will start on the pole position for Friday's WinStar World Casino 350k while Austin Dillon starts in p2 and will be right alongside when the green flag drops.

Stay tuned to Skirts and Scuffs, we will have an interview with Austin Dillon as he too contends for his first championship in the NCWTS.

NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two weekly columns with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also expanded her area of coverage to include exclusive interviews, brought straight to the readers of Skirts and Scuffs. To read her past columns and interviews click here. Feel free to follow and contact Amanda via Twitter.
Talkin' Trucks: James Buescher confident and ready to make his move Talkin' Trucks: James Buescher confident and ready to make his move Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, November 03, 2011 Rating: 5