Buescher trims Dillon's points lead with Kentucky win
Sparta, KY (Sports Network) - James Buescher gained ground in the Camping World Truck Series championship points battle by winning Friday night's Kentucky 201 at Kentucky Speedway.
Buescher prevailed in a crash-filled race that featured seven cautions, including five of them within the first half of the event. Thirty four of the first 59 laps were run under caution.
During a round of pit stops just past the halfway point, Buescher took just two tires and came out ahead of pole sitter Joey Coulter. Buescher led the final 52 laps and conserved enough fuel to cross the finish line 1.3 seconds ahead of Parker Kligerman.
Buescher claimed his fourth career Truck Series win -- all of them this season -- and moved to within four points of leader Ty Dillon. All of Buescher's victories have come on 1.5-mile racetracks, including the June 28 race at Kentucky. He entered this 201-mile event here 11 points behind Dillon.
"To have the opportunity to win a race is really cool," said Buescher who led a race-high 64 laps. "(Crew chief) Michael Shelton made an awesome call to take two tires at the end and get that track position. The clean air was really important. Once we got this Chevy out front, it was on kill."
Last week at Iowa Speedway, Buescher was involved in a wreck in the closing laps and wound up finishing 19th.
"Iowa was tough for us, and we've had some bad breaks this year," he said.
Kligerman rebound from a late-race spin to finish in the runner-up spot for the fifth time in his truck career. On lap 80, Kligerman spun around on the infield grass along the frontstretch when he made contact with John Wes Townley while the two were battling for the third position.
"I'm disappointed, and I let my team down," Kligerman said. "Where we are in points, we came here with the intention of leading (at least) one lap and winning this race. And then I spun out racing for third. We came back, and I'm proud of my team, but you can't make mistakes like that and win the championship."
Kligerman was attempting to become the eighth different first-time race winner this season, which would have set a series record.
Dillon's third-place run marked the third straight race he has finished in the top-three. He won last month at Atlanta and then placed second at Iowa.
"We had a good truck, and we were really fast on a couple of laps, but on the long runs, we would just get too tight," Dillon said. "Heck, we're on a roll right now with three top-threes in a row. The only way we'll get any better is just win."
Coulter finished fourth, followed by Brian Scott. Johnny Sauter also bounced back from an early-race accident to take the sixth spot. Sauter was involved in a wreck with Todd Bodine and Tim George on lap 21. Bodine damaged his truck beyond repair and ended up finishing 30th.
Justin Lofton, Miguel Paludo, Matt Crafton and Townley completed the top-10.
Ryan Blaney, who became the series' youngest race winner at Iowa, finished 11th, driving the No. 29 RAM for owner Brad Keselowski. The 18-year-old Blaney is also competing in Saturday's 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Kentucky. He is the son of NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney.
Timothy Peters came to Kentucky trailing Dillon by eight points, but Peters finished 21st after being involved in a three-truck accident on lap 54. He made contact with Max Gresham and spun into the wall. John King, who won the series' season-opener in February at Daytona, was also caught up in the wreck.
Peters is now 26 points behind Dillon. He had led in the standings for seven straight races before Iowa, where he finished 19th.
"We're not out of this thing yet, but it was a tough night," Peters said.
Kligerman is 30 points out of the lead.
Just six races remain, with the series heading to Las Vegas next week.
09/22 00:00:26 ET