DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Nationwide Series completed a weekend of testing on Sunday at Daytona Int’l Speedway in preparation for the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 on Feb. 22.
Dylan Kwasniewski was fastest on Sunday for Turner Scott Motorsports in the No. 31 Chevrolet with a lap of 190.022 mph. Chase Elliott was once again near the top of the speed charts, posting the second fastest lap on Sunday of 189.950 mph.
James Buescher, who captured the 2012 edition of the DRIVE4COPD 300, is entering this year’s race having made a big change in his driving career.
At the end of last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Buescher left Turner Scott Motorsports, which is owned by his father-in-law Steve Turner, to join RAB Racing and the No. 99 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Said Buescher of the change: “In some ways it was a really difficult decision from the family aspect and everything that we’ve accomplished together at Turner Scott Motorsports – the championships and race wins and poles and kind of building that organization.
“But I want to make it to the Sprint Cup level, and I want to be a Sprint Cup champion one day. I have to make the moves in my career that are best for me, and I feel like coming over to RAB Racing and Toyota and being able to bring Rheem with me as a sponsor was the best situation for me to be in right now.”
Winning the 2012 DRIVE4COPD 300, held the day before the prestigious Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, has had a major impact on the young career of Buescher, who later on that year won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
Buescher was running in 11th place entering turn four on the final lap when a multi-car accident broke out in front of him. Buescher, who was driving for Turner Motorsports at the time, was able to maneuver his way through the accident to bring home the victory.
“It was definitely really big,” Buescher said. “At that point, I had never won a NASCAR sanctioned event. I was relieved to finally win a race, and the fact that I won one when everybody was crashing, there was a lot of doubters that said it was a fluke, and the fact that we were able to go follow that up with four more wins in the Truck Series that year and a championship I think solidified that win that we had here in the Nationwide Series. It makes this place even more special.”
Preseason Thunder will conclude on Monday and Tuesday with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series testing. Fans can watch the testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.