A rain-filled Friday morning in Ridgeway, Virginia forced NASCAR to alter day's activities, meaning that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) would see only one practice session instead of the three previously scheduled. After struggling during much of the practice session, NTS Motorsports came in Saturday morning and made some adjustments to their No. 31 ERT Investments Chevrolet before qualifying for the Kroger 250. The changes seemed to have paid off, allowing for the 25-year-old to pick up nearly four tenths of a second from his fastest practice time on Friday. The former NCWTS champion would roll off the grid in the 15th position for the scheduled 250-lap race. Buescher started his march forward during the first long green-flag stretch, positioning himself in 12th place before the first yellow flag was displayed on lap 35. Buescher radioed to his crew that his ERT Investments Silverado got looser the longer the race stayed green. Virginia-native and crew chief Chris Rice called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. A long pit stop resulted in Buescher losing valuable track position and restarting in the 17th position. During the second green-flag stretch of the race, Buescher radioed to his ERT Investments team that he felt like his left-rear tire was worn out. Trying to fend off the race leader for several laps to stay on the lead lap, Buescher surrendered and went to work trying to hold on to the free-pass position. The handling on Buescher's ERT Investments Silverado caused him to slip back in the running order before the next yellow was displayed. Slightly past the halfway point of the race, the No. 31 team restarted in the 13th position. A flurry of yellow flags during the second half of the race allowed for the past champion to work his way through the field and catch a lucky break on lap 163 to put him back on the lead lap. The NTS Motorsports team took advantage of being back on the lead lap and pitted for fuel and a chassis adjustment to correct the ill-handling Silverado. During the last third of the race, Buescher was able to maintain his position just outside the top 10. It was on lap 188 that Buescher came back down pit road to get his last set of sticker Goodyear Eagle tires, as well as a chassis adjustment. With under 30 laps to go, Buescher worked his way up to ninth place in the running order. Just before the race was scheduled to end, a yellow flag forced the Kroger 250 into overtime. During the first attempt at a green/white/checkered finish, Buescher restarted on the outside in eighth. Pushing his way through heavy traffic at the end allowed Buescher to gain an additional spot to bring his No. 31 ERT Investments/NTS Motorsports Chevrolet home in seventh place. With this finish, Buescher maintains the fifth position in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.
James Buescher On the Kroger 250:
"I can't express how proud I am of this entire ERT Investments/NTS Motorsports team; when we unloaded, we couldn't get our truck to handle. We went back and did our homework last night and the guys prepared me a great Chevrolet Silverado for today's race. We started the day off loose, then we ended up getting tight during the long green-flag stretch. We were fortunate to have a couple of those yellow flags fall when they did, which allowed us back on the lead lap and got us back in contention. This race was a typical short-track race, you just have to be there at the end, and the NTS Motorsports team gave me that opportunity. I can't thank ERT Investments enough for coming on board for this weekend's race, as this wasn't one of our originally planned races. I also have to thank Bob Newberry and everyone at NTS Motorsports for this great opportunity, and all the guys that worked their butts off to prepare me a great race truck."
NTS Motorsports PR