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NASCAR Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Media Conference

James Buescher
May 16, 2012


THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by James Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Excite Batteries Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports, currently sitting second in the NASCAR Truck World Series points, only four points behind the leader with a win and three top‑five finishes already this season.
Coming off your win at Kansas Speedway three weeks ago at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, you have momentum to Friday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  How have you and your team been preparing these last couple of weeks?
JAMES BUESCHER:  We have momentum not only from Kansas, but like you said, we have three Top‑5 finishes in a row, and it seems like our 31 team is on a roll.  But really, everybody at Turner Motorsports, our Truck Series program, I think is really strong right now.
We have won the last few races and I think we can carry that momentum right into Charlotte.  We have done some testing even since Kansas that we feel like is going to improve the mile‑and‑a‑half program even more and for other racetracks as well.  We found some things we felt like will help our trucks even more and we are taking the same truck to Charlotte that we raced at Kansas.  I think our chances are pretty good.  I'm excited to have Excite Batteries back on board with us for the first time this year.

Q.  How is racing in the two series helping you improve as a driver?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Four months into the season now, we have only had four truck races, so being able to run the Nationwide car on the off‑weekends, and for companion weekends, just helps me stay fresh and stay in the seat.  The more you are in the race car, the more you learn.
So I'm really fortunate to have ran all but one Nationwide race this year, and I feel like every week, I learn something or I pick up on something that I haven't had before.  So I think just staying fresh in the car and getting that extra seat time is important.

Q.  I know Texas is one of your favorite tracks; how is it when you prepare for racing at your home track knowing that friends and family are probably going to come out there, and what would it mean to you to get a win at your home track?
JAMES BUESCHER:  It would mean a lot to me.  Our team‑‑ Mr.Turner is from Texas, as well.  So not only am I a Texas driver; we are a Texas team.  It would mean a lot to get a win there.
You know, like you said, we've got some poles there, and in the past, I think we have gotten the last two Truck Series poles there.  We have had speed when we go there.  I don't think we do anything any differently.  It's just a racetrack that I think I've adapted to well.  It's a place I've been a lot to watch races, and it's just a place that I think I have figured out.
So there's not much we do differently but we know that when we go there, we need to perform.  So maybe every detail gets looked over a little bit extra.
I think it's a lot like going to a place like Charlotte, and that all of the guys on my team, that's their home race, and we do the same kind of things for that race as we do for my home race, and that's two really important races that we all want to win, because our families are there and our friends are there, and they all get to experience it with us.
So I think just a little bit of extra emphasis gets put on those races.

Q.  Have you ever had a season or a time in your career that just for some reason, everything just seems to be fitting together for you, coming together?  Is it something that‑‑ is it something new or something that you can put your finger on, or what's your take on it?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Are you saying like having this season coming together?

Q.  Yes.
JAMES BUESCHER:  I don't really know what one thing is making this season come together so well.  It seems like it has been a really good season.  The 30 car and the Nationwide, we are up close to the Top‑5 in owners points and we have had some good finishes there, and won at Daytona and won Kansas in the Truck.  Everything seems to be clicking.
I joked earlier in the season that getting married in the off‑season, I finally started winning some races.  So I don't think that's a reason.  But I think just the evolution of our team, it's still a young team.  We have only been a NASCAR team for a few years now.  It's not like we have veteran crew chiefs.  We do now, but as a 31 team, we have built this together, Michael Shelton and I, he was a rookie crew chief, and I'm somewhat of a rookie driver.
So it's not like we had a whole lot of experience coming into it, and I think it's just taken some time to figure everything out, and be able to put every piece of the puzzle together.
I feel like every year we have gotten better and better, and we had a shot to win the championship last year and we gave that away in the beginning of the season.  We see the mistakes we have made in the past and we are doing our best not to make them again.
Just continually try to get better every week, even if we feel like we can go to a racetrack and be the fastest car on top of the practice sheet; we are still testing and trying to find new things and trying to stay on top.

Q.  Being a rookie what would be your advice for a young person wanting to get into NASCAR?
JAMES BUESCHER:  There's so many ways that you can make your way up the ladder.  I think just staying focused, and it's something that you really want to do, you've got to make it your top priority.  You've got to live, breathe, eat and sleep it.  It takes a lot of effort.  You have to stay in shape throughout the week, and you have to focused on your race car.
It takes a lot of effort, and you are going to go through some hard times, but you can't get down on yourself and you have to keep working at it and keep trying to get better because it's not just going to happen overnight.  I've been in NASCAR for four years now, and I've just now won my first couple of races.
So, things take time and you've just got to stay focused and stay patient, and hope the right opportunities come your way.

Q.  With one win in the Truck Series and Nationwide this year, how does that help motivate you for many seasons to come?
JAMES BUESCHER:  You question your ability when you don't get to victory lane, and it had been a while since I won a race.  2009, I won a couple ARCA races and 2010, 2011, we didn't win any races.
So it does weigh on you and it weighs on your mind when you're in a losing streak like that.  But you know, when you finally can get to victory lane twice in a couple months, it just gives you the confidence to know that you are capable and you do have a team capable of winning, and you've just got to keep trying to get to victory lane, because even though we have done it twice, it doesn't mean it's going to make the next time any easier.
We just have to keep working like we are and don't take anything for granted.  I think it's just a huge confidence booster.

Q.  How much does running‑‑ you kind of answered this earlier, but how much does running in the ARCA series help you going into a truck or Nationwide Series event as a young driver?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Well, I don't plan on doing any ARCA racing anymore, but in years past, just the extra seat time on a racetrack that you might be unfamiliar with is the biggest thing.
It helps you with‑‑ I ran Speedway races and I ran mile‑and‑a‑half races and stuff whenever I was first getting into NASCAR just to get that extra seat time on those racetracks that I had not been too very much and any series I had ran prior to the Trucks and Nationwide Series.
And last year I ran the ARCA race at Lucas Oil Raceway just because that's a racetrack I really enjoy, and I wanted to run all three races that weekend.  It's my favorite racetrack so, that's why we ran it.
But you know, it's just a way to learn and get that extra track time.

Q.  You mentioned about your marriage, congratulations on that.  What's it like now driving for a family member with Mr.Turner now as your father‑in‑law?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Well, yeah, I did get married in the off‑season.  You know, it's not any different really because Chris and I have been together for about seven years now.  So I've always kind of looked at him as a father figure, Mr.Turner.  But now he legally is my father‑in‑law.
So, you know, there's not anything really different in the way I approach the races or how I approach my job, because I have been working with him for so many years.  I drove for him in late models and I've driven for him for a couple of years now in NASCAR, and it's not anything new, really, but just a different title.

Q.  Is it neat that you truly are a family?
JAMES BUESCHER:  Absolutely.  It definitely‑‑ you know, people sometimes ask if it makes it any easier driving for my father‑in‑law, and honestly, it doesn't, because he can hold me to a higher standard than he does anybody else, because he knows what I'm capable of, and he knows the amount of work that he puts in and the amount of work that I put in.
And it makes you‑‑ it gives you that extra little drive that you might not have to get the best finish you can possibly get when you're having a bad day, or it makes the victories that much sweeter, not only winning it for yourself but winning it for your family.  It definitely has a little bit different feel to it.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, we appreciate you taking the time to join us today.  Best of luck Friday night in your race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.



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