Camping World Truck Series points leader James Buescher has been racing cars for half his life, mostly at Texas Motor Speedway. Now 22, Buescher got his start at age 11 when he attended the Lone Star Legends Racing School at TMS, and began racing bandoleros soon after.
Aside from the 1.5-mile track the NASCAR series will use this weekend, there are four other tracks at TMS, a road course on the infield, a quarter-mile oval on the frontstretch, a one-fifth-mile outside Turn 3, and a dirt track.
Buescher has won races on four of them, still waiting to take the checkers on the big track. He currently leads Ty Dillon by 21 points and has the most wins (4) and top-five finishes (10) on the Truck circuit this year.
What would a win in Friday's Camping World Trucks WinStar World Casion 350k mean to you, not only as the points leader, but also as a Texas native?
Aside from being my home track, it would mean a lot to show how strong this team really is. We just took over the points lead. If we can back that up with another win and stretch out our lead even more going into the final two races, it would be big. And it would be even sweeter to win on my home track. It's a place I feel I've been really successful, and it's fun to run there, with all the extra support I get from friends and family at the track. It would be awesome to win there, for sure.
Growing up in Texas, who were some of the drivers you liked to watch?
When I was really young, I was a Rusty Wallace fan, but as I got older, I didn't really have a favorite driver. I've always had a group of drivers I like. I watch them and try to take pieces from all the great drivers of the sport. There's no perfect driver, but I think if you can that something from those great drivers and mold them together, it will help you be successful in NASCAR.
You jumped into a Nationwide car at 18 years old, but this is your fifth season in either the Nationwide or Truck series. Does your youth still pose a challenge on the circuit, or do you feel like a veteran?
It was definitely a challenge starting out, but I would say with the wins we've gotten this season, and competing for a championship, it's different now. It's never easy in this sport. It can turn around on you as quick as you snap your fingers and you're out of your ride. So I don't allow myself to be comfortable, but I have it figured out more than I did a couple years ago.
Was it difficult breaking into NASCAR being from Texas, rather than living somewhere like the racing hotbed of North Carolina?
This is a tough sport to be able to be successful in, no matter where you're from, and there are a lot of good drivers that don't have the opportunity to be in a racecar every week, so I consider myself lucky to be in that position. Not having a racing background in my family definitely makes it harder for me. There are guys out here who are second- or third-generation drivers, or their dad is a crew chief or whatever. They have more opportunities and a better understanding of what it takes to get to that level, or at least know how to give themselves better chances.
My dad wasn't in NASCAR. He's in home building. But my parents supported me the whole way, from when they sent me to the Lone Star Legends Racing School and bought me a bandolero for my 12th birthday. Mr. Turner (Will Turner, founder of Turner Motorsport Racing) has been with me since I was 15 years old, and that support has really helped. But it adds a curveball when you don't have a family background in the sport.