James Buescher jumped back aboard the No. 30 Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) Turner Motorsports Chevrolet at Kentucky Speedway after Alex Bowman had the seat at Chicagoland Speedway. Coming off a win in Friday evenings’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kentucky 201, Buescher was looking to apply what he learned for a solid run for the No. 30 team.
During practice on Friday afternoon, the No. 30 F.O.E. team went to work making wholesale changes after the car was initially hitting the splitter and was a little too tight for Buescher’s liking. After getting the car to a neutral balance, they were ready to go make a mock qualifying run. Buescher ended up 14th fastest in final practice.
Buescher and the team didn’t get the starting position they were hoping for, as the car was too loose during their timed qualifying laps. The No. 30 rolled off the starting grid for the Kentucky 300 in the 19th position. After a couple cautions early, the drivers were able to settle in and get to some long, green-flag racing and Buescher was allowed to feel out the car’s handling.
Steadily moving up from the 19th starting spot, Buescher reported into crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. on lap eight that the car was “snapping loose. “ During the NASCAR competition yellow on Lap 30, Buescher would bring the No. 30 Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) Chevy down to the attention of the crew for the first time in the race. Hillman Jr. opted to make a major swing at it with a spring adjustment, in hopes of tightening up the Chevy Impala for Buescher. The No. 30 came out of the pits in the 14th position.
After a couple of quick green-flag laps, the yellow flag slowed the field once again. Buescher reported back to the Turner Motorsports team that the changes made had helped the No. 30 F.O.E. Chevy but may have been too much. Hillman Jr. acknowledged over the radio and continued to send encouragement to Buescher to keep up the good work, as the lap times looked competitive with the rest of the field in the top-10.
Just before what looked like was going to be green-flag pit stops, a car spinning through the infield brought out a timely caution flag for the No. 30 and the team was able to go back to work on the handling of the F.O.E. Chevy. The crew changed four tires with adjusted air pressures, filled the car with fuel and went back on the adjustments from the previous pit stops.
After 13 green-flag laps, Buescher radioed back into the crew that the entry had become stable again. He continued to fight for a top-10 position during the long green-flag runs late in the race.
Falling a lap down to the leaders while running in the 13th position, Hillman Jr. was aiming to the take the wave-around to get back on the lead lap after a yellow flag flew on lap 162. Unfortunately, the strategy didn’t pan out as the leaders ended up staying out on the track. When the pits opened for the lap-down cars, Hillman Jr. called an audible bringing Buescher down pit road for four tires and fuel to put them in a position to race for the lucky dog. Buescher continued to work diligently for that top-10 finish coming up just short, finishing solidly in the top-15 at 13th.
“I am really proud of these guys; they stuck with me this whole weekend making a bunch of changes to this Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevy. I feel that we were able to learn something for when I get back into the car on another 1.5-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a couple weeks.”
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be back in action next Saturday at 3pm from Dover International Speedway for the OneMain Financial 200. Alex Bowman will make his second start for Turner Motorsports at Dover while James Buescher will return to the seat at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 12th.
Fastest Lap: 31.508
Fastest Lap: 31.501
Laps Completed/Total Laps: 199/200