JAMES BUESCHER STEALS ONE AT FLORENCE By Amy Hayes
Caution-Filled Race Results in Rookie's First Win
“Florence Motor Speedway.” The name itself can instill fear into many a drivers’ heart. This past weekend, the racetrack did little to discourage it’s persona as the ASA Late Model South Series took to the rough, old and wall-less track on Saturday night.
The track lived up to the talk and reputation of demolishing cars, as the only people who left the track happy were probably the fans, and the eventual race winner, who happened to be one of only two lap leaders. That winner was James Buescher.
he took the green flag, he was able to get past fellow front-row starter Buescher and take the lead. He stayed up there as well, for about 99 and three-quarters of a lap.
At that point in the race, Buescher decided that he wanted to lead, at least the last lap, and he made this happen by moving Taylor out of the way.
“That was nuts,” said Taylor. “I led almost every green-flag lap. On lap 80 the number 90 (Keeton Hanks) dumped us coming off the corner and we got stuck up on the hay bale. The wrecker came and got us back on the race track and we were able to get our spot back. The car was pretty good even after that.
James Buescher was a happy guy in victory lane. (51 photos)
“After we got back on track, I had a vibration in the front, but we still were able to get a couple of car lengths lead after the restarts. Then the 2 car (Buescher) hit me and turned me around on the last lap and they sent me to the back. If you go look at the racecar, he clearly hit me in the left rear and they sent me to the back and stole the win away from me.”
Taylor being only 14 and Buescher 16, the two are two of the youngest drivers in the ASA Late Model South Series. The fact that they found themselves duking it out for the win at one of the toughest and trickiest tracks that the series races on made for some excitment. But the teenagers did have some difference in opinions on just how the racing was.
Spencer Taylor led almost all of the laps, except for the final one.
“That last lap is the most important one and we led it,” said Buescher. “We just stayed patient all night long and it just came to us there at the end.
“With 20 to go we just started going for it and we got by those cars in front of us and worked our way up to second. We had to work pretty hard to get by the (number) 46 of Spencer Taylor, but we did it and we had a good night.”
All night long, the track and the race belonged to Taylor, who looked posed to bring home his first-career ASA Late Model South Series win at the age of 14. He started the race in the second position, but as soon as
“It was pretty cool to be racing Taylor out there,” added Buescher. “We are some of the youngest guys out here. He was strong all night long and it was pretty tough to get by him. He led 99 laps but we got the last one.
“There were a lot of yellow flags throughout the night. We were under caution probably 100 laps, but that’s okay, we had 100 green ones to get up front.”
So many of the laps were run under the yellow that fuel became an issue for some drivers, but Buescher was able to work it out.
“I was thinking that we might be getting close to running out of fuel, but we have a bigger fuel cell than we have to have so we had enough and we were able to win.”
Others such as Colt James, weren’t so lucky.
There were a total of 16 cautions in the event in addition to two red flags. Racers were running into each other, and off of the track and many drivers got to see what the landscape surrounding Florence Motor Speedway looked like, whether they wanted to or not.
“The track had to do a lot with the cautions," added James. "No walls on the back stretch and it is such a thin race track it is hard to make passes here. A lot of people get to come home with a torn up race car tonight. I thought we were going to finish second but instead we finish in the back, and that isn’t going to pay for the body pieces.”
“It was definitely a good race between me and the 46 (Taylor). It was clean racing for 99 laps between me and him. Some other people just got over anxious but that is just how it goes sometimes.”
Florence Motor Speedway
1. 2, James Buescher
2. 62, Travis Wilson
3. 119, Dalton Zehr
4. 83, Beau Slocumb
5. 33, Dillion Oliver
6. 10, Logan Dernoshek
7. 188, David Pollen, Jr.
8. 43, Richard Johns
9. 8, Michael Seewright
10. 46, Spencer Taylor
11. 15, Colt James
12. 111, Chase Austin
13. 12, Mark Reedy
14. 94, Jason Miller
15. 90, Keaton Hanks
16. 41, Derek Strong
17. 20, Kyle Eastham
18. 09, John Wes Townley
19. 66, Kevin Willis
20. 141, David Hutchenson
21. 138, Josh Hamner
Up until Buescher got up to the front of the pack, it seemed that the only person who had anything for Taylor was James. James was good on the restarts and several times throughout the night attempted to try and get past Taylor, but was unable to do so. Some of the cleanest racing of the night was going on between the two drivers, but neither one was able to make it to the checkers first. James didn’t even make it there at all.
“We just ran out of gas,” said James. “This is the second time it has happened this year. After the first time we said we would get a bigger fuel cell but they (ASA LM Officials) said no, we will just throw red flags on whatever looks like a long caution. I guarantee that we ran 70-80 laps under caution, it was ridiculous. I ran out of gas coming under the white flag.”
Colt James was one of the victims of the fuel mileage game at Florence.