|Buescher (C) and wife Kris celebrate a championship|
For one of the first times all season, Buescher’s No. 31 Great Clips Chevrolet never cracked the Top-10 Friday. The Plano, Texas native fought handling issues throughout the event, then dodged a late-race crash that eliminated rival Ty Dillon en route to 13th-place finish, clinching the championship by a paltry six points over Timothy Peters, who fought with an ill-handling Toyota of his own Friday. Dillon finished 25th after the crash -- triggered when he tangled with youngster Kyle Larson while battling for second place -- and slipped to fourth in the final standings, behind Buescher, Peters and Joey Coulter.
"Everybody on this Turner Motorsports team has done a fantastic job," said Buescher in Victory Lane. "We had a shot at the championship last year, but we came into this year swinging and did a lot of work over the offseason. It definitely paid off. This is definitely the coolest thing I've ever done.
“This whole year has been incredible,” said Buescher. “I got married in January, and my wife is my number-one supporter. After taking that step in my life, to be able to start off the race season with a (Nationwide Series) win at Daytona was incredible. It was the best thing I'd ever done in racing, and that opened the floodgates for us to win some races on the Truck side. We won four of them, and now we're the champions.
“It's been a phenomenal year for my racing career and for my personal life. I feel really blessed.”
The championship was the first for both Buescher and team owner Steve Turner, and the 12th driver’s title for Chevrolet since the series was chartered in 1995. En route to the title, the Turner Motordsports driver claimed a series-high four victories, along with 10 Top-5 and 14 Top-10 finishes in 22 starts. As a team, Turner Motorsports collected seven Truck Series wins with Buescher, Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Kasey Kahne.