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James Buescher takes on Cup regulars in Loudon truck race

While every NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that has fielded entries by Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch has ended in one of the two in Victory Lane, James Buescher captured fan interest attempting to be the David to the two Golaith’s. Ultimately, aggressive driving on Busch’s part landed the No. 18 in Victory Lane in New Hampshire.

Busch jumped ahead coming out of Turn 2 after a restart with two laps left in 175. Busch crossed the line a mere 0.280 seconds ahead of Buescher.

Like series points leader, Todd Bodine, Buescher ended the day taking issue with Busch’s driving.

Buescher had taken the lead on Lap 166, diving beneath both Harvick and Busch. Ron Hornaday Jr. spun after contact with Timothy Peters and hit the wall hard for the eighth caution of the race on Lap 169, and Busch got his chance to pounce back into the lead on the Lap 174 restart.

Buescher chose the outside lane and led Busch through Turn 1, but Busch charged to the inside and nosed ahead of Buescher off Turn 2. Before he was clear of the No. 31, Busch moved up the track, turned across the left front of Buescher's truck and hit the outside wall.

"I knew I had to clear him. Regardless of what was going to happen, I had to clear him, and I tried rubbing off of him, and he was still there just a little bit, and it turned me into the wall. It was a hard hit. It knocked my helmet crooked, Busch claimed.

Busch's aggressiveness went too far in Buescher’s eyes.

"He just went to the fence," Buescher said. "He wasn't clear at all. He drove like he had no truck on his outside, and he hit my left front and ended up in the wall. He just drove us dirty and got the win, and we hung in for a second-place finish."

"I saw the 31 take off, and the 18 got a run on the bottom, and it looked to me like the 18 just drove over the front of him—that's what it looked like," said Harvick, who had raced side-by-side with Busch for large segments of the race.

Harvick, who swapped the lead with Busch 14 times before Buescher passed them both on Lap 166, finished third. Matt Crafton and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.

Todd Bodine finished ninth, one position behind Aric Almirola, but continues to lead by 257 points in the battle for the series championship.

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Janelle is a native of Southern California who follows a variety of racing formats. She finds the competition between hard-driving veterans and rising stars in the NASCAR Truck Series some of the best in the top tiers of racing. Janelle has been published in print and online, covering topics in both sports and academics. She also serves as the Southern California Motorsports Examiner. Send Janelle an e-mail, and follow her on Twitter. Join the discussion at the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner Facebook page as well.


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