NNS: Buescher swerves low to capture Drive4COPD 300 win

February 25, 2012 No Comments

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington, Getty Images for NASCAR

James Buescher needed just one thing to happen in order to capture the Nationwide Series victory at Daytona, all the cars in front of him to wreck.

That is exactly what happened coming off turn four of the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, and it all started when Joey Logano went high to block Tony Stewart who had a run high, which set off a chain reaction wreck that Buescher needed to tip-toe through to make it back to the start/finish line.

“I don’t know who was leading there, whoever was at the front of the pack started to go up to block the outside line that was coming,” said Buescher to ESPN reporters in victory lane. “Nobody wanted to work with me there at the end.”

Going into turns three and four, Buescher, who is driving in the Nationwide Series part-time for his Camping World Truck Series team, Turner Motorsports, was sitting in eleventh place. After the melee of cars and metal and smoke cleared, Buescher was one of only a handful of cars to cross the start/finish line under power.

“I saw [the leaders] get together and I went to the bottom and I kept my foot [in the gas] and the cars started to come down the track,” Buescher said. “Somehow we made it through there, beat everyone through and dodged all the bullets.”

The bullets in Buescher’s case were 11 other stock cars bouncing off the wall, and each other. Only Buescher, Brad Keselowski’s Penske Dodge, Elliott Sadler’s Richard Childress Racing  and teammate’s Austin Dillion’s Chevrolets were  the only four cars that were racing that made it through the wreck. Of those, Buescher was the first driver to make it through and survive until NASCAR displayed the caution flag, ending the race.

“We could have won if I could have just gotten through that [wreck] without that little bit of contact,” Keselowski told ESPN reporters after the race. “But it’s a coulda, whoulda shoulda, it’s just nice to have a car capable of winning the race.”

Keselowski finished second, Sadler finished third Cole Whitt finished fourth and Austin Dillion finished fifth.

For Buescher this is his first career NASCAR win, but his second win at Daytona, he previously won at Daytona in an ARCA event.

After the race, car owner Steve Turner said that due to his win there are no current plans to make Buescher a full-time Nationwide driver.

“Well, there was quite a few big wrecks [today],” Buescher said “There was closer-than-close calls because we got hit in several of these big wrecks.”

Danica Patrick, who started on pole and captured many of the headlines from the weekend had her race cut short when she got loose and crashed in  the outside wall of turn three.

For most of the race, the tandem style racing was mixed in with pack racing, and until the last 20 laps most of the cautions were either single car incidents or for fluid on the track.

However, the next three cautions involved 44 cars, several of the cars were caught up in two or more wrecks, at one point after a 19-car pile up coming out of turn four, the race had to be red flagged.

After the red flag was lifted NASCAR attempted the first of a potential three Green-white-checkered finish. A wreck occured and the cars were lined up again. The second attempt at a G-W-C finish made it to the white flag before the turn four pile-up which gave Buescher the win, and ended the race.

Kurt Busch who is driving part-time for his Cup car owner, James Finch, led the most laps in Saturday’s race. Busch was leading the majority of the last lap, when he was involved in the wreck coming off turn for.

Stewart who had won the previous four Drive4COPD 300′s at Daytona was making his charge to make it five in a row when his car, was also involved in that last corner wreck. Stewart was being pushed from behind by Sadler.

“It looked like the leader, the 20 car pinched us up into the wall,” Sadler said. “We had that race won, we were coming with a whole lot of speed, and a whole lot of momentum on the outside.”

Sadler didn’t win the race, but he will leave with the Nationwide series points lead.

Race results:

1. James Buescher
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Elliott Sadler
4. Cole Whitt
5. Austin Dillion
6. Tayler Malsam
7. Timmy Hill
8. Tony Stewart
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Kurt Busch
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Beeny Gordon
13. Danny Efland
14. Josh Wise
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16. Joey Logano
17. Blake Koch
18. Kyle Busch
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Sam Hornish Jr.
21. Johanna Long
22. Eric McClure
23. Joe Nemechek
24. T.J. Bell
25. Jeremy Clements
26. David Ragan
27. Michael Annett
28. Mike Wallace
29. Joey Gase
30. Kenny Wallace
31. Ryan Truex
32. Denny Hamlin
33. Justin Allgaier
34. Reed Sorenson
35. Robert Richardson Jr.
36. Casey Roderick
37. Brian Scott
38. Danica Patrick
39. Mike Bliss
40. JJ Yeley
41. Jason Bowles
42. Johnny Sauter
43. Jeff Green

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