Buescher : 'We have a good mentality around our group'
Gray Gaulding will also get seat time for the team Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge Daniel Hemric and James Buescher will headline the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series lineup for NTS Motorsports in 2015, the team announced Monday. Hemric will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet Silverado and compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors as a full-time driver. Ryan McKinney will serve as his crew chief. Hemric has made three career starts in the Truck Series with his best finish, a 12th-place result, coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2014. McKinney was the crew chief for the team's No. 9 Truck last season and had four top-10 finishes atop the pit box in 2014. The 2012 series champion, Buescher will be behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado for select events. The No. 31 will be a full-time truck, but the team did not announce how many races Buescher would run. When Buescher is behind the wheel, he will have sponsors GunBroker.com and Great Clips on board. NASCAR.com contributor Chris Rice will be the crew chief of the No. 31 team, while also serving as NTS Motorsports' competition director. Rice has one career win atop the pit box in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He worked with Buescher in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for part of last season as the crew chief of the No. 99 team. The organization will also field a part-time team in the form of the No. 20 Chevrolet Silverado. Gray Gaulding will run eight races and have sponsorship from Krispy Kreme, while Scott Lagasse Jr. will drive in two events. Gaulding, who turns 17 on Tuesday, ran nine events last season, scoring his first top-five finish in the series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Gaulding will also pilot a full-time effort for the organization in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Lagasse Jr. will be behind the wheel for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will be supported by the Florida Department of Transportation's Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow initiative in addition to Boy Scouts of America. Veteran crew chief Doug Howe, who has one win in the series, will be atop the box for both drivers. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Rookie is seventh in points, despite not qualifying for season-opening race RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today For Chris Buescher , 2014 counts as a season of on-track growth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series . The progress has been even more of an eyebrow-raiser considering that the growth was nearly stunted before the season started. Early blips aside, Buescher has rounded into competitive form during his rookie season in Roush Fenway Racing's No. 60 Ford Mustang. He'll hope to build steam from last weekend's mistake-free fourth-place finish at Dover into Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Kansas Speedway . The current run of momentum remains in sharp contrast to Buescher's delayed start to the season at Daytona International Speedway in February. Buescher was among nine drivers missing out on Coors Light Pole Qualifying in the series' first try at the new multi-round group qualifying format, a three-round session cut short by rain. Missing the race and starting the season the following weekend at Phoenix left the team facing a large deficit in the series standings. As the campaign has plodded along, the 21-year-old Texan has made the most of the early setback, steadily advancing to seventh place using the team's go-for-broke approach with little stake in the championship fight. All the while, sitting out Daytona has remained in the back of Buescher's mind. "Yeah, we always think about that," he said Saturday after the Dover 200 . "Not getting to make our first Daytona start due to the new format, rain, weather, what have you -- we were extremely fast, but we took it for what it is and we've been going forward understanding that we missed a race and we're still seventh in points. I look at it as a big plus for our whole team. I'm really proud of these guys for sticking with it and going out here. "We've taken a lot of chances this year. We've been in position to do it now. We have nothing to lose in the points, so it's almost been a blessing for us to be able to experiment a little bit and take some chances that you usually wouldn't do." The highlight of Buescher's progression came in August, when he emerged at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for his first career victory. Since then, the finishes have been solid but not spectacular -- up until last weekend's super-steady top-five result at the Monster Mile. Though making monumental steps further up in the standings is virtually out of reach -- Buescher ranks 78 points behind sixth-place Trevor Bayne , his Roush Fenway teammate -- the team still has chances to make strides over the final five races of the season. "I mean, that's our goal," said Scott Graves, Buescher's crew chief. "The end of the season, we're definitely talking that we want to be top-five and in contention every week. Just really want to show people that we're here and we're for real and finish off strong, for sure." That quest begins this weekend at Kansas, where Buescher finished 16th last year in just his ninth career Nationwide Series start. His results this season on 1.5-mile tracks have been a hodgepodge, but his portfolio of four top-10 finishes in eight races on intermediate-sized tracks this year provides hope. "It's been a struggle at first, but we've made a lot of gains," said Buescher , who took seventh place in the series most recent race at a 1.5-mile track, two weeks ago at Kentucky. "Our last couple of mile-and-a-halfs have been really good, so I think we can build on that, go out there and contend and get these top-fives." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chris Buescher has just enough fuel to hold off the field and earn his first career NNS victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Buescher's Mid-Ohio victory gave the Nationwide Series three rookie winners
Kyle Larson spins on Lap 89, coming down the track and hitting Chris Buescher .
Joey Logano and Regan Smith leave Dover wondering what could have been, while Chris Buescher brings home his best finish since the win at Mid-Ohio.
Roush Fenway Racing teammates finish 1-2 in Alert Today Florida 300 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full race results " Series standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- With a spectacular last-lap move to the inside, not to mention a timely shove from Roush Fenway Racing teammate Chris Buescher , Ryan Reed stormed to his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory in Saturday's Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. "Oh, my God, we won Daytona!" exulted Reed, who has overcome a diagnosis of Type I diabetes to drive full-time in the XFINITY Series. RELATED: Buescher -Reed push highlights Roush resurgence Buescher finished second, .089 seconds behind, with Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski claiming positions three through five. Keselowski was leading at the white flag, but a last-lap crash in Turn 1 left him alone in front of the field and a prime target for the Roush Fenway tandem. On Lap 112, during a 10-car wreck that started at the exit from the tri-oval, Kyle Busch crashed nose-first into the concrete wall inside Turn 1. Busch climbed from his car but was unable to stay on his feet. Emergency medical technicians put an air cast on Busch's right leg before lifting him on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance. The driver of the No. 54 Toyota was transported directly to Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation. Busch was awake and alert and undergoing treatment for his leg injury. Joe Gibbs Racing said Busch will not drive in Sunday's Daytona 500, and the organization is making contingency plans. Sunday's race will be the first Sprint Cup event since the penultimate event of the 2001 season without one of the Busch brothers (Kurt or Kyle) in the field. In a race where attrition was the watchword, Reed was one of nine drivers to finish on the lead lap. "For every kid that gets diagnosed with diabetes, or anything that says you can’t do something, just go out there and overcome it and do it," Reed said. "This is unreal. It hasn't even sunk in yet. ... "When the wreck broke out of the least lap, Keselowski was out there on an island, and we got a huge run and it set up perfectly. ... It's amazing." After failing to qualify for the Daytona race last year, Buescher was elated with his second-place run, especially since he finished runner-up to a teammate. "We're just happy to be running this race this year," Buescher said. "After last year going the way it did, we're proud that we were in it. Our Ford Mustang was fast all weekend. Just trying to stay out of trouble, and there was a lot of it. "We barely got out of it. I think we ended up, me and Ty, at one point getting through one of those last ones. It was a melee, a lot of torn up equipment. Just happy we could get out of it. Happy for Ryan to get his first win, knowing the feeling after last year (when he got his first win at Mid-Ohio) of finally getting one off your back." Chase Elliott's XFINITY Series title defense got off to a rocky start. Elliott was an innocent victim of a 13-car wreck on Lap 93 but continued after repairs. The coup de grace for the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevy came on Lap 112, when he was sidelined in the same wreck that injured Busch. The DNF (did not finish) was Elliott’s first in 34 XFINITY Series starts. Darrell Wallace Jr. and Elliott Sadler finished 12th and 19th, respectively, in their first events for Roush Fenway Racing. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chris Buescher describes his emotions during the final laps of his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Dylan Kwasniewski and Chris Buescher battle into Turn 1, wrecking each other and bystander David Starr.