Driver James Buescher holds up the Michigan National Guard 200 trophy after winning Saturday at MIS.
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Kyle Busch was as surprised as anyone when James Buescher passed him with about three laps remaining.
Busch was leading Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race when Brendan Gaughan’s No. 62 Chevrolet began to apply pressure. Then Buescher passed to the inside of both in his No. 31 Chevy — and held on to win.
“I figured once I could get out front, I felt like I could hold everybody off because it was hard to pass,” Busch said. “The 62 got a run on me down the backstretch, and I pulled a little bit low to block, and then I heard that the 31 was on the inside of him. So how the 31 can get a run on the 62, who’s got a run on me, is beyond me. It blows my mind, but he got a run on all of us.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Michigan National Guard 200
Buescher, the defending champion on this series, won his first Truck race of the year and fifth of his career.
“The last part of it was a lot of fun,” Buescher said. “Toward the end of the race, the truck just came to life.”
Busch led out of a restart with six laps to go in the 200-mile, 100-lap race, but he had to settle for a fourth second-place finish in seven Truck Series starts at MIS, where he’s never won on this circuit.
Buescher’s aggressive late move paid off.
“Once you get a run on somebody, you just have to be committed,” Buescher said. “It’s a tough style of racing, but you see the opportunity to go from third to first in one corner, you need to take it. I was barely clear — just about got wrecked I think.”
Buescher finished a half-second ahead of Busch, who barely held off Ty Dillon for second. Pole winner Jeb Burton finished 10th.
Matt Crafton leads the points standings by 51 over Burton. Crafton finished ninth.
Buescher is third in points, 52 back of the leader.
“It’s a good way to start that turnaround,” Buescher said. “It’s no secret that it’s not the season we’ve been expecting.”