No Going Back To Kansas Victory LaneMany have mastered Kansas Speedway – 12 different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers, to be exact. None has been able to do it more than once. A 13th different winner in Saturday’s SFP 250 would break a record Kansas Speedway shares with Homestead-Miami Speedway. The latter string of 12 consecutive different winners began with the South Florida track’s first appearance on the schedule in 1996 and continued through 2007.
Four previous Kansas winners have entered this year’s event: James Buescher (2012), Johnny Sauter (2010), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2008) and Todd Bodine (2005). Bodine was Homestead’s first repeat winner in 2008.
At least eight drivers who have won in the series – but not at Kansas – are expected to compete in Saturday’s race, led by Kyle Busch, who would like to add to his 30 NCWTS victories – second most all-time in the series.
Kansas Speedway, resurfaced since the truck series’ last appearance, has a history of producing first-time series winners – four in all. Buescher, who went on to capture last year’s championship, is the most recent. The others are Erik Darnell (2007), Jon Wood (2003) and the late Ricky Hendrick (2001).
Among entrants looking for a first NCWTS victory is Joey Logano, who finished a close second at Rockingham Speedway to winner Kyle Larson. Clint Bowyer (2011) is the only Kansas truck winner to win as a NASCAR Sprint Cup regular.
No NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has been able to win back-to-back titles.
Reigning Champ Buescher Looks For Big Turnaround
Right now, it looks like James Buescher will extend that record unless his No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet team executes a big turnaround.
Buescher has yet to post a top-10 finish in the season’s first three races. He sits eighth in current standings, 42 points behind leader Johnny Sauter following his 14th-place finish at Rockingham Speedway.
This could be Buescher’s bounce-back week. The defending winner of Saturday’s SFP 250 turned promise into performance in 2012. The victory was the first of four for the Texan – and each came on a 1.5-mile intermediate-style race track.
"There’s no question the season hasn’t started off the way our Rheem team was hoping," said Buescher, whose Turner Scott teammate Kyle Larson won at Rockingham – just as Kasey Kahne did for the organization a year ago. "It’s not because we haven’t run well.
"I feel like we are always in contention for a win but we’ve just been bitten by some bad luck so far and don’t have the end result to show for it."
A 20th-place qualifying effort damaged Buescher’s chances at Martinsville. He qualified in the top three at Daytona and Rockingham and led both races before settling for top-15 placings.
"I think heading to Kansas this weekend couldn’t come at a better time for this team," he said.
Burton, Blaney Making Mark In Camping World TrucksKeep an eye on a few "young guns" when the green flag falls at Kansas Speedway.
Jeb Burton, 20, has won back-to-back poles and sits second in the points standings. Ryan Blaney, 19, became the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ youngest winner last summer at Iowa Speedway and is proving that Brad Keselowski Racing has become a week-in, week-out contender.
Burton finished 36th a year ago in his only Kansas appearance. But the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader – by a 51 to 35 count over Blaney – has collected three consecutive top 10s in his No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.
Blaney, meanwhile, counts a pair of eighth-place performances and ranks fifth in overall points. The Keselowski organization matched its best series race finish at Rockingham when Joey Logano finished second.
"Switching over to the Ford camp this year has gone really well for BKR. We continue to make improvements and build on previous weeks to get our trucks ready for competition week in and week out," said Jeremy Thompson, the team’s general manager.