NASCAR Nationwide Series: Drive4COPD 300
Topics: Drive4COPD 300
February 25, 2012
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
KERRY THARP: James Buescher winning the 31st Annual DRIVE4COPD 300. Congratulations. How does it feel to win your first NASCAR Nationwide Series race?
JAMES BUESCHER: It's hard to put into words. But, you know, these guys right here made it happen for me. I got to thank Mr. Turner first and foremost for letting me not only drive in the Truck Series, but let me drive in the Nationwide Series, and Trent for giving me an awesome racecar.
FOE gave us an opportunity to come down here. We had a really fast racecar, we knew that after practice topping the charts. We had help with our teammate Justin Allgaier early on and then Joe Nemechek throughout the middle of the race. Got down to the end, after we beat all the fenders off of it, beat 'em back out, didn't have anybody that wanted to draft with us. I was just trying to do everything I could to stay in the top 10 with no drafting help.
They all piled up in front of me and we made it through. It's hard to describe the feeling when you make it through the wreck and you're the only guy. You don't see anybody in front of you coming to the checkered flag. It's pretty incredible. Definitely will never forget it.
KERRY THARP: Crew chief Trent Owens, maybe talk about some of the things that you did on pit road today that helped you win.
TRENT OWENS: Yeah, it got pretty busy. The first race started out pretty simple, it was four tires and fuel. Like James said, we got through the middle part of the race, we kept getting almost in some crashes and the fenders kept beating on the tire, had to beat that out. Kind of kept losing our dancing partners, so to speak. There at the end of the race, they decided to shuffle him out just enough that he was able to drive by all of them. Kind of worked out for us.
Very big win for all of us. I thank Steve Turner for continuing to crew chiefing this year and being a part of James' career as well. Looking for great things.
KERRY THARP: Steve Turner, congratulations on this win here this afternoon at Daytona. What does this mean for your racing organization?
STEVE TURNER: It means a lot. Anytime you win a race, it means a lot. Our goal is working with young drivers. Mark Martin getting our first win, Justin Allgaier, Reed Sorenson, now James, puts us off to a good start, makes me feel comfortable we put people in the right places, Trent Owens, people like that. We changed the organization a lot around in the off‑season to cater more to the younger, less‑talented driver. We brought Kasey in to work with them. It worked out.
Most of all I'd like to thank FOE for sponsoring us and Joe Nemechek working with us during the middle of the race when we couldn't seem to find a dance partner there.
KERRY THARP: Driving that No.30 FOE Chevrolet, congratulations.
We'll take questions now for our winning team.
Q. James, you're not unaccustomed to winning. You've won a lot in the past. This being at Daytona, talk a little bit about that. Compare it to your other wins.
JAMES BUESCHER: Like you said, I'm accustomed to winning, but it's been a while. To have it start back up at Daytona, there's not a better place for it. It's been close to since the last time I won at Daytona that I won a race.
These guys sticking with me and giving me great racecars puts me in position to do that. I don't know, I can't think of another racetrack that I'd rather be at. Daytona is historical. Everybody knows that. Every driver dreams of winning here.
My goal as a young driver was to be able to race at Daytona in NASCAR. I've done that several times, but now we finally won here. There's not a lot to say about it. I don't know how to put it in words.
Q. How much time did you have to react coming off the fourth turn to get around that wreck? Also, talk very briefly about last night when you were leading and got wrecked.
JAMES BUESCHER: Well, I'd say I had a lot of time because I had time to think about it and figure out where to point my racecar to go through there.
It happened quick, but it was kind of slow in the moment. I was far enough back that I saw the outside line going to try to pass for the lead, and whoever was leading, I think it was the 1 car maybe, I don't know if I'm right or wrong, I think he went up and tried to block a little bit, everybody started rubbing fenders. They all turned into the wall together.
I had enough time to point my car to the bottom, thought about going to the apron. I was worried if I went all the way to the apron I'd spin myself out. Kept it straight, made it through, dodged all the bullets. Only car that came out the other side out front.
It's cool that we led the last lap. We didn't lead any. It was nice leading a bunch of laps yesterday. It makes the middle part of the race a lot easier. I'd rather the last lap be the easy one, seal it off like we did today.
Q. James, were you going to be happy with an 11th‑place finish without the wreck?
JAMES BUESCHER: I don't know where I was running. I knew I was somewhere around the top 10. When I didn't have any drafting help, we came to the white flag, I really lost drafting help, trying to get any draft I could off of the guys in front of me. I was happy staying in the top 10 with no help. It's still not satisfying because we were further up. But it still would have been a decent day for us.
Top 10s are definitely good to have in the Nationwide Series. That would have been okay. We would have been happy with it. But I'm a lot happier doing what we did.
Q. James, there were three major wrecks today with more than 11 cars involved. What memory do you have from the first two as far as getting through all the carnage of the day? What is your plan with Turner Motorsports as far as the remainder of the season?
JAMES BUESCHER: Well, there was quite a few big wrecks. I remember one of 'em coming off of turn four. I was able to turn to the bottom similar, but it was a little bit further down the racetrack where it was a flatter transition to go to the apron, and we made it through that one. I don't remember the third one. I don't know if I was in front of it or behind it or what. But, you know, there was a lot of close calls. There was closer‑than‑close calls because we got hit in several of these big wrecks.
As far as the schedule, the remainder of the season, I'm running full‑time in the Camping World Truck Series for the championship and I'm running part‑time in the Nationwide Series. I think the schedule is somewhere around 10 to 12 races. Hopefully finding some sponsorship to increase that.
Q. This has got to give you, even though it's a part‑time thing, a ton of confidence when you get back in the truck the next time where you are running for a title.
JAMES BUESCHER: Definitely anytime you win a race builds your confidence. Anytime you run up front builds your confidence. We did that last night. We knew we were capable of winning last night, just didn't have the luck to get it done. We did try it every way we could to get back up front and not get caught up in a wreck.
Being part‑time over here, it's still just as big of a deal to win the race. It just doesn't count towards the big picture at the end of the year. It's winning the races, not winning the championship over here.
Q. James, you mentioned other wins. Those are ARCA wins, you won an ARCA race here. Can you give us your bio?
JAMES BUESCHER: Only other time I won here at Daytona was in the ARCA series. Only win I can remember after that was the next week at Kentucky in the ARCA series. I think that was the last time I won a race.
Q. What year?
JAMES BUESCHER: 2009 I think. It's been a while, for sure.
Q. James, with the yellow flag freezing the field rule, were you at all concerned that maybe the field had been frozen before you got through the wreck? Who actually told you you won the race and go to Victory Lane?
JAMES BUESCHER: Yes, I was concerned about that. You don't know where they throw the caution out. If they did freeze the field, I know there's like a maintaining‑the‑pace car speed or reasonable speed back to the start/finish line. We were the first ones there.
But was it you or Jeff that told me? I asked several times.
TRENT OWENS: I think the biggest thing was you were the only one that really maintained your speed, when you get right down to it.
JAMES BUESCHER: Either Trent or my spotter, Jeff Dickerson, told me. I think it was Dickerson.
TRENT OWENS: I think I was giving the official to the big man down here (smiling).
Q. Brad Keselowski was talking about maybe the dangers of not throwing the caution out early. You were coming in pretty much wide open. Did you feel like there was danger, maybe it should have been called earlier?
JAMES BUESCHER: I was the first one through it, but I was right there with that pack. It wasn't like I had 40 car lengths between me and the pack in front of me. I was right there at the at the tail end of it. I was right there with Brad.
I don't know if it could have been called any earlier than it was. Even if it did get called earlier, I still would have had the speed I had because, you know, you got to be able to beat the wreck. I had a hole to go through. If I would have slowed down, I would have got crashed, too, so...
Q. Steve, does this put James in the seat for his hometown race in Texas?
STEVE TURNER: No, it doesn't (laughter).
JAMES BUESCHER: Not the first one (smiling).
Q. Trent and Steve, is this your first Daytona win? If not, what were the others?
TRENT OWENS: This is my first win as a crew chief in Daytona, yes. And it's bigger than life for me. I've been coming here since I was‑‑ I don't think I've missed a July Daytona race since I was eight years old, so...
This was a really big deal for me.
STEVE TURNER: I was fortunate enough to be the car owner when James won in the ARCA series here. Fortunate enough to be the second time.
KERRY THARP: Congratulations to James, Steve and Trent, to the No.30 Chevrolet for the big win here today at Daytona.
TRENT OWENS: Thank you.
JAMES BUESCHER: Thank you.
STEVE TURNER: Thank you.
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