Kyle Busch continues to make friends wherever he goes. A few weeks ago it was Todd Bodine calling him dirty. Before that, Brad Keselowski announced that Busch was an a** over the PA system of the Bristol Motor Speedway. Even mild-manner Jeff Burton became red in the face because of Busch earlier this year in Charlotte.
And the fans, well they’re never at a loss of opinions for Rowdy. He’s talented and competitive and for some it rubs off the wrong way. Whether he’s being cheered or booed, Busch won’t complain, he just loves the attention.
Following Saturday’s RacedayRaffleseries.com 175 Busch can add two more drivers that were giving him plenty of attention: James Buescher and Austin Dillon. The two had just finished second and fifth respectively as Busch was celebrating his fifth win of the year in the Camping World Truck Series.
“We had a really good shot at victory lane today,” said Buescher. “Everybody on this Wolfpack Rentals team did a great job.”
The source of Buescher’s frustration was the way in which the victory got away. After chasing the dominant trucks of Busch and Kevin Harvick all afternoon, Buescher took advantage when the two got together in turn one. With six laps remaining the caution came out, setting up a final restart that saw Busch drive up and over the nose of Buescher’s No. 31 Chevrolet.
Even after hitting the wall, Busch still went on to win. Buescher settled for his fourth top five, sixth top 10 finish of the season. On the cool-down lap Busch gave the Texan the middle finger.
“He just drove us dirty and got the win and we hung in for a second place finish,” said Buescher.
Dillon on the other hand, conceited Buescher’s points. He was not only rooting for Buescher to beat the two Cup Series drivers but said Busch’s tactics are predictable. Dillon followed it up and noted that Buescher should just wreck him [Busch] next time.
“Kyle [Busch] doesn’t really give you any room,” said Dillon. “If he’s inside of you he’s going to come on in for some reason. He did it to me in Michigan too and I had to check. It’s just how he drives. It’ll all come around, world’s round.”
For Buescher it was another bright moment and impressive stat in the aforementioned columns. Since returning to the NCWTS, Buescher has been one of their brightest stars. He sits 13th in points even though he’s only run 13 of the 18 events.
It’s a wonder what where Buescher would be sitting had he run the full schedule.
The 2010 season started with Buescher in the Nationwide Series for Phoenix Racing and what was expected to be a full-time gig. While he did run the first 10 races, with a best finish of eighth at Daytona in February, he soon departed and headed back to the NCWTS. A great relationship with Turner Motorsports put him in a decent seat and he’s done the rest.
Buescher’s now one of the most consistent drivers on the circuit and pounding on victory lane’s door. Saturday was one of his best shots to do so but it slipped through his fingers.
“There’s definitely mixed emotions,” Buescher said. “Being that close is one thing but getting it taken away from you like that is a totally different thing. If you’re faster, you’re going to pass him but you don’t have to race him dirty and flat out try to wreck you to get the lead and that’s what he did.”
Even at the tender age of 20 Buescher isn’t intimidated by a veteran like Busch. A second place finish is nothing to sneeze at, however Buescher knows that sometimes second isn’t good enough when you should be holding the trophy. Doesn’t matter whether it was bad boy Kyle Busch or four-time champion Ron Hornaday Jr., it still hurt.
A day after the finish Buescher appeared on Speed Freaks radio where he again reiterated that Busch used dirty tactics. Then declared had there been one more lap he would have not only caught Busch, but pulled a move similar to what the driver of the No. 18 had done.
I’m going to win Las Vegas, Buescher then told the audience as he had done after Saturday’s race. Whether it was the frustration of coming so close to getting to victory lane or just losing to Busch, there’s no denying that Buescher is more determined than ever.
He’s young, talented and his career hasn’t even begun to take off yet. If the pairing of Buescher and Turner Motorsports sticks for years to come there’s no doubt that they’ll be in victory lane and eventually the head table of the season ending banquet.
Buescher’s been a quick study and the next time around he’ll know what to do differently. Losing makes a driver hungrier to end up in victory lane. With a team that has been running up front week in and week out, their time is coming.
Don’t be surprised if Buescher does go and win in Las Vegas, he’s got a big enough chip on his shoulder pushing him toward accomplish it.