For two big reasons, James Buescher has forged closer bonds with his Turner Motorsports team this season.
For one, a growing sense of team chemistry has spurred the No. 31 Chevrolet to improved on-track performance in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The off-track reason is Buescher’s offseason marriage to Krishtian Turner, making team owner Steve Turner his father-in-law.
With the close-knit team now closer than ever, Buescher’s stock has risen. Fresh from his victory in the truck series’ most recent race, at Kansas Speedway, he now stands second in the standings, just four points back of leader Timothy Peters entering Friday night’s N.C. Education Lottery 200 (8 p.m. ET, SPEED) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“Everything seems to be clicking,” said Buescher, who also won the NASCAR Nationwide Series opener at Daytona in a Turner car. “I joked earlier in the season that getting married in the offseason, I finally started winning some races. So I don’t think that’s a reason.
“But I think just the evolution of our team, it’s still a young team.Â We have only been a NASCAR team for a few years now. . . . So it’s not like we had a whole lot of experience coming into it, and I think it’s just taken some time to figure everything out, and be able to put every piece of the puzzle together.”
Buescher has done plenty of double duty this season. He’s competing for the championship in trucks, but has also run all but one Nationwide race. Having a dose of success on both tours has been a confidence builder for Buescher, who had been winless in both series dating back to his NASCAR debut as an 18-year-old in 2008.
“It does weigh on you and it weighs on your mind when you’re in a losing streak like that,” said Buescher, who has finished no worse than third in the last three truck series races. “But you know, when you finally can get to Victory Lane twice in a couple months, it just gives you the confidence to know that you are capable and you do have a team capable of winning, and you’ve just got to keep trying to get to Victory Lane, because even though we have done it twice, it doesn’t mean it’s going to make the next time any easier.
“We just have to keep working like we are and don’t take anything for granted.”
Peters doesn’t have a win this season, but his consistency (top-five finishes in all four races in 2012) has him atop the points. Kyle Busch, winner of the last two truck events at Charlotte, has curbed his competition in the series and is not entered this year.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
The Race: N.C. Education Lottery 200
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Date: Friday, May 18
The Time: 8 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 201 miles (134 laps)