Second pole of season for defending series champion
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario -- James Buescher will start first in the first-ever international event for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after winning the pole position in Saturday afternoon qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Buescher, the defending series champion, turned a fast lap of 109.189 mph to secure his second Keystone Light Pole Award of the season and the fifth of his truck series career. He’ll lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s inaugural Chevrolet Silverado 250 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) driving the No. 31 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports.
“A little puzzled that I was able to get the pole here,” said Buescher, who was fifth in final practice. “My track record on the road courses is not terrible, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a road course ringer. Real proud of my guys and everybody on this Turner Scott Motorsports crew that put this truck together and gave me something that was that easy to drive.
Buescher will not only have the benefit of the first pit stall selection for Sunday’s 64-lap, 157.376-mile race, but he’ll also have premium track position on a course where passing comes with a high degree of difficulty.
“If people want to race you and not just lay over, it’ll either take the bumper or a lot of patience to get by them,” Buescher said, “so to have the track position is huge, and not only that, to get to race with the guys that know what they’re doing here. They’re up there starting with me; that will do nothing but improve my road-racing skills. Learn from the best and see if we can’t beat ‘em.”
Rookie Ryan Blaney, in the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, will share the front row with Buescher after clocking a 109.166 mph lap, good for second place in the starting lineup. Road-racing ace Mike Skeen, who led both Friday practices, will start third in his first career NASCAR national series start; rookie Chase Elliott, who set the pace in a pair of Saturday practices, qualified fourth.
Miguel Paludo completed the top five. Series leader Matt Crafton -- who leads Buescher, his nearest competitor in the standings, by 49 points -- qualified 13th in the 30-truck field.
Ross Chastain had the only incident in the qualifying session, which used the NASCAR road-course qualifying format and took place in six groups of five. He looped the No. 19 Ford on the track’s final turn, but recovered to post the 18th-fastest speed.