On a chilly Saturday evening, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rounded out a doubleheader of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After starting the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 in the eighth position, James Buescher and the No. 31 NTS Motorsports team battled a loose-handling Chevrolet Silverado for much of the 130-lap race. Falling as low as 12th in the running order, the Texan received an adjustment on the final pit stop of the evening that brought his NTS Motorsports Silverado to life. With a 'no quit' attitude, Buescher and the No. 31 NTS Motorsports team drove their way to an eighth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
For the first time since the 2012 season, the NCWTS returned to the 1.54-mile oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway. A misjudgment of the clock by 11 of the 12 teams in the final round of qualifying resulted in James Buescher and the No. 31 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet ultimately rolling off the grid in the eighth position. Just four laps into the 130-lap event, the 24-year-old radioed to his crew that his Chevy Silverado fired off loose. Slipping back in the running order slightly, Buescher continued to drive hard until the field opted for the first round of pit stops during the second yellow flag on lap 19. Buescher relinquished the ninth position to bring his NTS Motorsports Chevy down pit road to the attention of his crew. Crew chief Chris Rice made the call for four Goodyear Eagle tires, Sunoco fuel and a chassis adjustment in an effort to tighten up the handling on their NTS Motorsports Silverado. On the ensuing restart, Buescher continued to maintain his top-10 running position until lap 51 when the race saw its third yellow flag of the evening. Still battling a loose-handling truck, Buescher brought his No. 31 back down pit road for further adjustments. A great stop by the NTS Motorsports team vaulted the Texan up to sixth-place on the restart. The race would see its longest green-flag stretch of the race, resulting in the final pit stops of the night coming under green-flag conditions. With 30 laps to go while running in seventh, Buescher ducked down pit road for a final set of Goodyear tires, one can of fuel and a chassis adjustment. A long pit stop caused the No. 31 team to fall to 12th and down one lap to the leader, but Buescher and the NTS Motorsports team didn't give up, as they were turning their fastest laps of the night and battled to stay in the free pass position. The NTS Motorsports crew was hoping for a quick yellow flag to get their No. 31 NTS Motorsports Silverado back on the lead lap. The team, unfortunately, didn't get that break when the race stayed green the rest of the night. Buescher, however, managed to keep pace with the leader on the track and worked his way up to eighth place. With that finish, the 2012 champion moves up seven spots in the Driver Point Standings to fifth, 24 points behind the series leader.
James Buescher on the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200:
"We started off really loose in the daylight and fought our Chevrolet Silverado a lot. We'd eventually get track position, but only to get loose and get freight trained back in the running order. The NTS Motorsports guys did a great job adjusting on our Silverado all night; [crew chief] Chris Rice made some good calls. On the last stop, we went a different direction on adjustments and made the truck drive really good, but we had a tire get hung up on pit road, forcing us a lap down. We fought to get in the lucky dog spot and we passed the second-place truck in the process. It's disappointing that we had that mistake but it shows that our NTS Motorsports Silverado had speed. I'm thankful for the opportunity to come run for NTS Motorsports again and hopefully we'll be in Martinsville."
NTS Motorsports PR