Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cale Gale pins Kyle Busch for win, James Buescher survives obstacles to win championship in Camping World Truck Series

James Buescher hoists the 2012 Camping World Truck Series Championship trophy.
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Cale Gale pinned Kyle Busch against the wall to win the Ford Ecoboost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by a bumper. He became the 9th first-time winner and the 16th different winner of the 2012 Camping World Truck Series season. "It's a dream come true," said Gale. "To win the season finale race here is obviously important."

Meanwhile, Plano, Texas native James Buescher dodged crashes and debris to finish 13th and earn his first championship, giving Turner Motorsports its first title in the process. Winless coming into the season, Buescher scored his first win in the Nationwide Series, then racked up four in the Trucks to take the title for Texas-born TMS.

"It definitely was a nail-biter down to the end," said Buescher. "We were in range of being the champion for most of the race, and one of the late restarts there Ty got a good jump on the field and was making a charge for the lead it looked like. But I was doing everything I could to keep our Great Clips Chevy going forward. It was pretty loose and really slick out there. We struggled finding speed in our truck tonight. But we did what we had to do to win the championship, and it worked out in our favor."

Cale Gale wins season finale.
Credit John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Parker Kligerman led the pack to the green flag, but for the better part of the race it was the Kyle and Kyle show; Busch led 45 of the 140 laps but Larson, in just his fourth CWTS start, led the most with 48. Nelson Piquet Jr. did his part by leading 33 laps; his two brushes with the wall kept him from capitalizing on his lead.

As the laps wound down, the tension wound up. Lap after lap, someone was fighting for position, whether it was Busch and Matt Crafton or Johnny Sauter and Larson - from the number of slide jobs on the asphalt at Homestead, it's not a stretch to imagine the Trucks on dirt at Eldora.

On Lap 125, Max Gresham hit the wall, bringing out the caution and bunching the field. Just four laps later, Ty Dillon sliced his way through the field, attempting to get to the front to win the championship and the race. Larson darted below him and the two got together and into the wall, bringing out the red flag. Dillon passed the pace truck to get onto pit road, so he spent two laps in his pit stall as penalty, watching the title slip from his grasp.

"Our truck wasn't the greatest, but I was just driving my heart out there at the end," said Dillon. "We were going all out, that's what we had to do to win this championship ... Kyle's a great racer, I respect him."

"Sucks that I took him out," said Larson. "But I was going for the win, too."

When the race restarted, only two laps remained. Gale and Joey Coulter took advantage of the restart to gain positions. Coulter ended up finishing third in the race and third in the points standings. Piquet Jr. held on to finish fourth and Miguel Paludo snuck by for fifth.

Full race results are here, points standings here.

Timothy Peters, who sat second in points at the beginning of the evening, came in eighth to hold that position. Dillon finished 25th and dropped to fourth overall. Dillon did reach one goal, however, and that was winning Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

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