Coming from the back of the pack for the second week in a row, James Buescher was looking like a dark horse that could steal the win at his home track of Texas Motor Speedway on Friday evening. Buescher was forced to start from the back of the 32-truck field after his team decided to be safe and change their carburetor after finding an issue following qualifying impound. Buescher and the Ruud team had their work cut out for them during the 167-lap event. Once the green flag fell, Buescher wasted no time in picking his way through the pack and found himself battling for a top-five running spot much of the event. After a late-race caution, the handling on the No. 31 Ruud Chevrolet went away, but Buescher hung on for his third top-ten finish of 2013, coming home in ninth.
The Ruud crew unloaded a brand new chassis for the WinStar World Casino 400 and, during the two-and-a-half hour practice session on Thursday, the crew went to work to find some speed in the truck. After placing 14th on the charts, the crew took a swing at their Chevrolet Silverado in an attempt to remove the loose condition for their qualifying lap later that evening. During that qualifying effort, Buescher said the truck was handling better but just lacked some speed. On Friday morning, the crew made a change to the carburetor, which sent Buescher to the back of the 32-truck field.
Looking to play the spoiler at his home track, Buescher started to pick his way through the field and made his way up to the top 20 within the first five laps. Soon after, Buescher reported back to his crew that the Ruud Chevrolet was a tick free in the corners. Settling in during the early green-flag run, Buescher’s lap times were running consistent with the top five trucks. At lap 13, Buescher radioed to the crew that the handling was starting to go to the tight side and that he felt the carburetor might have fixed their previous issue earlier in the weekend. It was on lap 43 when the yellow flag fell and Buescher got his first opportunity to bring his Ruud Chevy down to the attention of his crew. The crew went on to change four tires, make an air-pressure adjustment and removed a rubber out of the left-rear spring, along with adding fuel to his No. 31.
By lap 51, Buescher cracked the top 10 and wasn’t stopping there, as a couple laps later, he found himself running just outside the top five in sixth. Poised to continue to make his charge to the front, Buescher was running faster lap times than the leaders. During the second half of the 167-lap WinStar World Casino 400, Buescher used the caution-flag periods to his advantage and made some daring moves to pick off two or three positions at a time. Buescher was running sixth at the time of the last caution period on 140. He ducked down pit road for four scuffed tires, a decision that was based off previous race strategy, and made an air-pressure adjustment in the process. During the last green-flag run towards the checkered flag, the truck got too tight for Buescher and he slipped back in the running order. Buescher was able to hold onto a top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway, solidly finishing ninth.
“This was another very difficult weekend for our crew but our guys never gave up on this truck,” said Buescher. “They continue to work really hard, and I feel like our luck is going to turn around soon so we’ll be able to get this team some solid finishes. I can’t thank Ruud enough for coming on board this weekend. I hope we were able to put on a good show coming from the back of the pack for another great top-10 finish.”