Defending series champion feels he held his line; Peters says he got ‘ran over’
NEWTON, Iowa -- It wasn’t the same sort of headline-grabbing move as Chase Elliott nosing Ty Dillon out of the way in the final turn at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last weekend, but James Buescher’s contact with Timothy Peters on Lap 196 of Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway had just as much impact on the standings.
“It’s just a disappointing end to a day that could’ve been great,” said Peters, who finished 12th and doesn’t plan on making amends with Buescher. “There’s no need (to talk to him). He’s a moron.”
Those were strong words from Peters, but the driver of the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota was upset. The two got tangled up as the race-leader Peters came down into Buescher, leading to a No. 17 spinout, an eventual Victory Lane appearance for the No. 31 and a disagreement as to who owned that inside line.
“It’s kind of funny to hear (Peters say) that, because he and I normally get along just fine and never have any problems racing each other,” said Buescher, who picked up his second win of the season in defense of his 2012 series title. “We normally race each other really clean, but today he was just blocking me all day and inside five to 10 laps to go, he kept chopping me. I was there. If somebody was that far there on me, entry to one, at that point in the race, you give him the lane and you race him, you don’t chop him off. It didn’t work out for him.”
Peters’ description of the contact was more black and white. “He ran over me, there’s nothing to describe about it,” he said.
After Buescher took the checkered flag following a pair of green-white-checkered attempts, Peters showed his displeasure with the Turner Scott Motorsports driver by bumping him on the front straightaway during the cool-down lap. Had the final bit of contact between the two trucks been the sole issue all day, Peters might not have been as hot as he was post-race, but it wasn’t the initial run-in.
“Early on in the race, I raced him for awhile and he kept chopping me and getting the corner,” said Buescher. “I’d get inside and he’d come down on entry, when I felt like if somebody’s that far inside of me, I’m leaving a lane just because I don’t want to get wrecked and if somebody gets to my outside, I leave a lane and I did for him.
“When he came down, that was the second time in two corners that he had done it within five to 10 laps to go in the top five. So, I just held my line and ran the line that I was planning on running and he came down the race track and spun himself out.”
Peters had a chance to become the first back-to-back winner at the track in series history after winning here in July, which, in turn, would have put his name back into title talk. Instead, his deficit to series leader Matt Crafton increased to 74, while Buescher has momentum and a deficit of just 37 points.
“We’re definitely on a roll,” Buescher said said. “Four races ago, we were 64 points out of the lead and I think we’ve not quite cut that in half, but close enough. We’ve got plenty of racing left to go and I think we can keep it up.”
It will be interesting to see if there’s retaliation from Peters next week at Chicagoland Speedway, but don’t expect Buescher to let off the gas. He knows he was on thin ice in defense of his title just a month ago and will take full advantage of his recent success.
“You never know what’s going to happen in these things, you just have to put yourself in position to win them,” Buescher said.