James Buescher

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR

Reliving some of NASCAR’s most dramatic finishes

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The Minnesota Vikings’ win against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday marked the first time in NFL history that a playoff game ended with a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.

NASCAR has had its share of dramatic finishes through the years. While it’s easy to debate which dramatic finishes rank among the all-time best, here’s a look at some of the most dramatic (and surprising) wins in NASCAR.

The first selection comes from what is now the Xfinity Series. It was the 2012 season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Kurt Busch led with Kyle Busch pushing him as they entered Turn 3. Behind them were Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart, Elliott SadlerRicky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne, Cole Whitt and Brad Keselowski.

None of them won the race. 

James Buescher, who was 11th in Turn 4 won for his only Xfinity victory in 91 career starts. 

 

Carl Edwards had won the Xfinity race the day at Atlanta but had yet to win in 16 previous Cup starts before he cranked the engine at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2005. Edwards came from behind to beat Jimmie Johnson at the line in among the closest finishes in NASCAR.

 

Dale Earnhardt’s incredible ride from 18th to first in the final five laps in 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway is memorable for that alone but it also was his 76th and final Cup victory. When the video clip below starts, you don’t even see Earnhardt but he’s there lurking and works his way up the field. With two laps left, announcer Jerry Punch exclaims: “The Intimidator is scraped and beaten on the right side, but he will not be denied! “Mr. Restrictor Plate knows there are two laps to go! Earnhardt drives to the high side of Bobby Labonte. Wow.”

 

As they took the white flag at Watkins Glen International in 2012, Kyle Busch led, Brad Keselowski was second and Marcos Ambrose was third.

What followed was a chaotic final lap that ended with Ambrose winning. It led broadcaster Dale Jarrett to say about the beating, banging and battling: “A year’s worth of excitement in 2.45 miles. Incredible.”

 

Ricky Craven tried to make his move by Kurt Busch with two laps to go at Darlington Raceway in 2003 but slid up and made contact with Busch and lost his momentum. That allowed Busch to dive underneath and take the lead back. Craven persisted. As they came off the final corner, Craven went underneath Busch for a door-slamming drag race to the checkered flag, nipping Busch by 0.002 seconds to win.

Of course, one can’t include such a list without one of the sport’s most famous finishes. Donnie Allison led Cale Yarborough on the last lap of the 1979 Daytona 500. Yarborough dived low on the backstretch to pass Allison, who blocked. They hit, bounced off each other and hit again before crashing in Turn 3. Richard Petty drove by several seconds later to take the lead and go on to win the event. As Petty celebrated, Allison, Yarborough and Bobby Allison, who had stopped to check on his brother, fought.

 

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Entry list for Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky

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There are 33 trucks on the preliminary entry list for the Camping World Truck Series’ race at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday.

No Sprint Cup regulars are entered into the race, though part-time driver Ryan Blaney will compete in the No. 29 for Brad Keselowski.

The last four races at the 1.5-mile track have been won by Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon and James Buescher (swept 2012 races).

The UNOH 225 starts Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Entry list for UNOH 225:

source:

Chris Buescher wins Dover Xfinity race by nearly 12 seconds; Regan Smith takes $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize

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With virtually every driver in fuel conservation mood, Chris Buescher had just enough gas in his tank to not only win — but also by nearly 12 seconds — in Saturday’s Buckle Up 200 Presented By Click It Or Ticket at Dover International Speedway.

Buescher won by running an unheard of 98 laps on the final tank of fuel to earn his second Xfinity Series race of the season (also won at Iowa three weeks ago) and third of his career. Matt Kenseth finished second.

Buescher had actually held more than a 16-second lead with two laps to go, but backed off to save the last few remaining drops of fuel he had in his tank, assuring that he’d make it to the finish line.

“I can’t believe how slow we were having to run to do it,” Buescher told Fox TV. “It was just such a slow pace there at the end. We’re clutching it before the start-finish line and just letting it role. They’re just telling me to stay off the gas, stay off the gas, but we made it to the end and had enough for a burnout.”

Regan Smith was third and earned the first of four $100,000 Xfinity Dash For Cash prizes. Austin Dillon finished fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Brendan Gaughan, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones and Jeremy Clements.

MORE: Results of Buckle Up 200 Xfinity Series race at Dover

MORE: With Dover win, Buscher increases Xfinity Series points lead

How Buescher won: Buescher did a magnificent job of saving fuel, going the final 98 laps on one tank of fuel. He did his job in textbook fashion, by saving fuel along the way and then moving to the point for the first time with 10 laps to go, passing teammate Bubba Wallace Jr., while his fellow competitors had to slow down and save fuel themselves. It was Buescher’s second win in three races and allowed him to open up a 15-point edge in the points standings, the largest the spread has been this season.

Who else had a good day: Even though he finished third, Regan Smith had a very rewarding day – to the tune of $100,000 – by having the highest finish in the first of four Xfinity Dash 4 Cash events this season. “That certainly takes the sting away from that third. I don’t know how the 60 car (Buescher) made it all the way (to the finish). I don’t know how they did that. … We’ll take some of Xfinity’s money as a consolation prize, that’s okay, we’re always happy about that. We’re going to keep fighting hard. I want to win so freakin’ bad right now, it’s about to kill me, so we’ll keep battling.” Smith also moved up one spot, from fifth to fourth, in the Xfinity points standings with his third-place finish.

Who had a bad day: Brian Scott was hoping to repeat his win at Dover from six years ago (in the Truck Series). But on Lap 64, Scott and Ryan Blaney tangled, sending both drivers into the wall. As Scott’s crumpled car rolled down the track, Jamie Dick was unable to avoid it and slammed hard into Scott. While Blaney was able to continue on, Scott’s and Dick’s day were both over. “The 22 was kinda out of control,” Scott said of Blaney to Fox TV. “He got real loose out of (Turn) 4, so I got a run on his inside going into Turn 1. I just felt he didn’t give me any room, I feel like he was stuck to my door and it caused me to spin around.”

Notable: Erik Jones led a race-high 70 laps, and was hoping to celebrate his 19th birthday with a win. But a costly mistake coming onto pit road on the final pit stop cost him what had been a 20-second lead and ultimately relegated him to a ninth-place finish. “I just missed it, I screwed up, just trying a little too hard,” Jones told Fox TV. “I wanted to make sure we could get out ahead of everybody. Clean air was so big today. I thought that’s what we needed. It’s just tough to get on pit road here. I should have practiced it. I didn’t think about it during the day. We fought hard all day and put ourselves in position to have a shot and led a lot of laps, but it didn’t work out at the end.” … In post-race inspection, the 33 car of fourth-place finisher Austin Dillon was found to be too low. Any penalties will likely be issued this Tuesday or Wednesday.

Quote of the day, Part 1: “It’s my teammate so I can’t really say much. … He ran over me and winds up winning. It should be interesting Monday morning (in team meetings). We just got run over. It sucks that it was my teammate. … I would say I’m happy Roush won, but I’m not.” – Darrell Wallace Jr. on how he and teammate James Buescher got into each other late in the race, allowing Buescher to go on and win.

Quote of the day, Part 2: “Bubba and I were on the same (pit) strategy and we were able to run a quicker pace, still. I couldn’t do anything with him at the end of the straightaway. It is what it is. We got a win. It’s hard when somebody runs you down that close. I don’t know. It was a fun day, Ford did a great job. … It was quite the day for us.” – James Buescher responding to Bubba Wallace’s comments.

What’s next: The Xfinity Series enjoys an off-weekend next week. It returns to action on June 13 at Michigan International Speedway in the Great Clips 250 Benefitting Paralyzed Veterans.

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Poll: Among drivers 25 and younger, Joey Logano is a Hall of Fame lock

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NASCAR Hall of Fame voters elected the stock-car shrine’s seventh class last week, selecting O. Bruton Smith, Terry Labonte, Jerry Cook, Curtis Turner and Bobby Isaac.

What might the class of five members look like 40 years from now?

That was the May topic of The Century Poll, which surveys 100 people – 50 from the NASCAR media corps and 50 from the NASCAR garage (including owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crew members, officials) – each month on a new issue.

Voters were given a ballot of 25 drivers born after 1990 and asked which five were most likely to reach the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Joey Logano, who turned 25 Sunday, was the leading vote-getter, receiving 91 of 100 votes. The Team Penske driver, who has nine Sprint Cup and 24 Xfinity victories (and a Camping World Truck win), surprisingly was absent from the ballots of seven media members.

Defending Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott, who turns 20 in November and will move into the No. 24 Chevrolet being vacated by Jeff Gordon next season, was second in overall voting.

Erik Jones, who scored his first Xfinity Series win last month and made his Cup debut in place of injured Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway, actually was first among media (with 45 of 50 votes) and was third overall, followed by Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr.

At least 19 drivers received a vote. Here’s the breakdown:

                                   G       M        T

Joey Logano            48       43        91

Chase Elliott            45       44        89

Erik Jones                37       45        82

Kyle Larson              39       36        75

Ryan Blaney             23       22        45

Darrell Wallace Jr.  21      24        45

Austin Dillon            9        7         16

Chris Buescher         7        4         11

Ben Rhodes               3        6         9

Ben Kennedy            3        5         8

Cole Custer               6        1         7

Ty Dillon                   2        3         5

Todd Gilliland         1        3         4

Brett Moffitt             4        0         4

Ross Kenseth           1        2         3

John H. Nemechek 0        2         2

Tyler Reddick           1        1         2

Gray Gaulding         0        1         1

Daniel Suarez          0        1         1

The 25 drivers on the ballot are listed below. Which five would you have chosen?

Trevor Bayne

Ryan Blaney

Chris Buescher

James Buescher

Cole Custer

Austin Dillon

Ty Dillon

Chase Elliott

Grey Gaulding

Todd Gilliland

Cameron Hayley

Erik Jones

Ben Kennedy

Ross Kenseth

Kyle Larson

Joey Logano

Brandon McReynolds

Brett Moffitt

John Hunter Nemechek

Brennan Poole

Tyler Reddick

Ryan Reed

Ben Rhodes

Daniel Suarez

Darrell Wallace Jr.

Entry list for Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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There are 33 entries for the Camping World Truck Series’ North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski are entered into the race that was won by Kyle Busch in 2014. Kahne, who has started in only five Truck races, has not competed in one since winning the 2012 race at Rockingham Speedway.

Entry list for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200:

00-Kasey Kahne (Chevrolet/Haas Automation)

1-TBA (Chevrolet/TBA)

02-Tyler Young (Chevrolet/Randco Industries – Young’s Building Systems)

4-Erik Jones (Toyota/Dollar General)

05-John Wes Townley (Chevrolet/Zaxby’s)

6-Norm Benning (Chevrolet/TBA)

07-Ray Black Jr. (Chevrolet/ScubaLife.com)

8-Joe Nemechek (Chevrolet/TBD)

08-Korbin Forrister (Chevrolet/TBA)

10- Jennifer Joe Cobb (Chevrolet/Driven2Honor.org)

11-Ben Kennedy (Toyota/No. 11 Local Motors)

13-Cameron Hayley (Toyota/Cabinets by Hayley – Carolina Nut Co.)

14-Daniel Hemric (Chevrolet/California Clean Power)

15-Mason Mingus (Chevrolet/811 Call Before You Dig)

17-Timothy Peters (Toyota/Red Horse Racing)

19-Tyler Reddick (Ford/BBR Music Group)

23-Spencer Gallagher (Chevrolet/Allegiant Travel)

28-Ryan Ellis (Chevrolet/FDNY Racing)

29-Brad Keselowski (Ford/Cooper Standard Careers for Veterans)

31-James Buescher (Chevrolet/Boy Scouts of America)

33-Brandon Jones (Chevrolet/ProStock)

40-Todd Peck (Chevrolet/Horizon Pharma – Arthritis Foundation)

50-Travis Kvapil (Chevrolet/Burnie Grill)

51-Matt Tifft (Toyota/ToyotaCare)

54-Justin Boston (Toyota/ROKMobile.com)

63-Tyler Tanner (Toyota/Mittler Bros Machine & Tool – Ski Soda)

74-Jordan Anderson (Chevrolet/Corpe Consulting – Auntie Anne’s)

75-Caleb Holman (Chevrolet/ Food Country USA – Lopez Wealth Mgmt., – Venus Swirl Razor)

86-Brandon Brown (Chevrolet/Coastal Carolina University)

88-Matt Crafton (Toyota/Great Lakes – Menards)

92-David Gilliland (Ford/Blacks Tire – Goodyear Commerical Tire & Service Network – Wynns)

94-Wendell Chavous (Chevrolet/Testoril)

98-Johnny Sauter (Toyota/Smokey Mountain-Curb Records)

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