KANSAS CITY, Kan. — James Buescher finally got a chance to drive his truck into Victory Lane.
Those second-place finishes were getting a little old.
The 22-year-old Buescher passed Brad Keselowski with 10 laps remaining Saturday at Kansas Speedway, and then pulled away to win for the first time in 76 tries in the Trucks series.
“I can’t even count the number of times we finished second,” Buescher said. “We’ve had a lot of second-place finishes, but we finally got the win.”
Buescher won his first NASCAR race in the Nationwide series at Daytona earlier this season, but hadn’t been able to break through in the Trucks series, despite four runner-up runs – including last weekend at Rockingham, where his teammate Kasey Kahne won for Turner Motorsports.
“Two weeks in a row is definitely something to be proud of,” Buescher said.
Buescher unloaded a new truck for practice on Friday and it was fast all weekend. He lost the lead on the final round of pit stops, electing to take four tires while Keselowski took only two, but powered by the Sprint Cup regular on the fresh tires to wrap up his first series win.
“We did a great job, my team did, of capitalizing on pit strategy,” Keselowski said. “We needed a little more speed to run with James, who was just lightning quick.”
Buescher came into weekend fourth in points and leaves in second, just four behind Timothy Peters, who also got around Keselowski down the stretch to finish second at Kansas.
Nelson Piquet Jr. finished fourth and Todd Bodine was fifth.
“I don’t think we had the truck to win the race today,” Piquet said, “but you have to bring it home as best you can if you want to be there at the end of the season.”
It was an eventful start to the weekend at Kansas Speedway, where AJ Allmendinger sits on the pole for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday.
Ron Hornaday Jr. and Paulie Harraka got together on Lap 42 and touched off a spectacular wreck that involved David Starr, Brennan Newberry and Russ Dugger.
Newberry and Dugger were evaluated at the infield care center and released.
Hornaday managed to save his truck, sliding through the fourth turn near the wall before getting straightened out down the front stretch. He wound up finishing sixth, while Justin Lofton, Parker Kligerman, Ty Dillon and Miguel Paludo rounded out the top 10.
FORMULA ONE: In Sakhir, Bahrain, two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for the first time this season at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where security remains tight amid expectations of anti-government protests.
Vettel, whose best finish this year was second place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, clocked 1 minute, 32.422 seconds in his Red Bull. That was 0.98 seconds faster than championship leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was third followed by McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who won his first grand prix in China last week, took fifth place on the grid. But his teammate Michael Schumacher didn’t get past the first qualifying session and will start in 18th.