After heavy rain moved through the Bristol, Tenn., area just before the scheduled start of the Food City 300 which delayed the race for nearly an hour. James Buescher started Friday evening's short-track showdown in the 16th position. During the first stint of the 300-lap race, Buescher was running in the 15th position battling a tight-handling Rheem Toyota Camry. Buescher and the No. 99 Rheem crew got their first opportunity to adjust on the Camry during the competition yellow at lap 60. After getting four Goodyear tires, a full-load of Sunoco fuel and a wedge adjustment, Buescher restarted just inside the top-20. A couple of laps later Buescher radioed to the crew that the adjustments were not helping him. On lap 82, the Texas native came back down pit road to reverse the previous chassis adjustments. On lap 172 the 24-year-old fell a lap down to the leader. Shortly after falling a lap down, a yellow flag flew and crew chief Matt Lucas called for the wave around which put Buescher back on the lead lap. For the first time all night, Buescher reported that his Camry was loose on the exit. With just under 40 laps remaining, the seventh yellow flag was displayed which vaulted Buescher to the 12th running spot. During the last 30 laps of the race, multiple restarts allowed the No. 99 Rheem team opportunities to gain positions. When the checkered flag waved, Buescher secured a season-high ninth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
James Buescher Quote:
"This is our best finish of the year a ninth-place finish. This shows some improvement, Matt (Lucas, crew chief) and I are starting to get our cars to drive the way I need them to. We still seem to be lacking, we gained speed the last couple weeks, even though it's been on road courses, we've gained some speed at the race track. Still just need some more, but our Rheem Toyota was solid tonight. We went back and forth on adjustments and we'd make an adjustment then take it back out and try something else and take it back out and try something else. Ended up half of an adjustment away from where we started the race. I think actually just a tire pressure adjustment away from where we started the race. I think we guessed it pretty good at the start and we fought hard all night. We had to overcome some strategy when we were towards the back when that first caution came out. If we would have come and got tires and done fuel only on the competition caution then we could have got some track position early, but we had to earn it the hard way at the end and those restarts worked out to our advantage. Thought I was going to lose a couple spots and the caution came out there at the end. It was definitely a top-groove, one-lane race track and impossible to pass, but we were able to climb up from around 20th to ninth. Solid night and we'll move on to Atlanta and see if we can't improve on it."
RAB Racing PR