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James Buescher believes he is taking step forward by leaving Phoenix Racing

By Lee Montgomery

DOVER, Del. – To some, James Buescher is taking a step backwards as he moves from the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the Camping World Truck Series. But he doesn’t see it that way.

Buescher announced earlier this week that he’s leaving Phoenix Racing’s Nationwide Series team and will drive full time for Turner Motorsports in the truck series.

"Somebody asked me, ‘Why are you taking a step backwards?’" Buescher said Thursday after practice his truck at Dover International Speedway. "Honestly, I think this ‘step backwards’ is a really a step forward in the right direction. It sounds weird to say, but I really do think it is."

Why? Because Buescher, 20, feels like things at Phoenix weren’t progressing as well as he would’ve hoped, while Turner Motorsports is an up-and-coming truck team. Buescher is engaged to Kris Turner, daughter of Turner co-owner Steve Turner. Buescher has raced with Turner in the past and was scheduled to do a part-time truck schedule this year.

"There’s a lot of good things going on over here," Buescher said. "I feel like I can get more out of running the rest of the truck schedule in the top five than I can running the rest of the Nationwide schedule, running 10th to 15th. And we’ll have more fun doing it, I think. You always have more fun when you’re running good."

Buescher likely wasn’t having much fun in the Nationwide Series, and the troubles started before the season began when sponsor Miccosukee decided not to return to the James Finch-owned team.

Then, Buescher has struggled at times this season, posting only one top-10 finish in 10 races. He’s 19th in the Nationwide standings.

Finch has also said his team is for sale, though Buescher wouldn’t say if losing the sponsor and possible sale of the team influenced his decision.

"It’s hard to say," Buescher said. "Things were kind of going forward as if we did have a sponsor. Then certain things were not going forward as if we had a sponsor."

Buescher said he’d do the same things if he were an owner to save money and doesn’t blame anyone. He simply wants to be in best position for his career.

"Everything was just kind of falling apart," Buescher said. "We weren’t really getting the finishes we needed, we were tearing up a lot of cars. Darlington, I would say was my fault. A lot of the rest of it, I’d say we had a lot of bad luck this year. But, even when we were running good and weren’t wrecking because of bad luck, we really weren’t as good as where I felt we were at the end of last year."