James Buescher keeps focus on task at hand at Texas Motor Speedway

James Buescher doesn't know what's next.

The 22-year-old would be open to taking the next step to a full-time driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, of course, after spending the past four years competing primarily in the Camping World Truck Series.

But that opportunity might not present itself next season.

"A lot of it has to do with sponsorship opportunities and what seats are available," said Buescher, a Plano native. "We don't have all that worked out yet. But we're not worried about that because we're focused on what we're doing right now."

That's an understandable mindset as Buescher and the No. 31 Chevrolet team are eyeing their first truck championship.

Buescher enters tonight's WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway atop the points standings, 21 points ahead of Ty Dillon and 25 ahead of Timothy Peters, with three races left.

"I don't see any reason why we can't pull off this championship," Buescher said. "We've overcome quite a bit this season already, and we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing."

Buescher finished third in the points standings last season, and has taken strides this season. The biggest adjustment he has made is turning a bad race into a respectable or even good race.

Last weekend at Martinsville, for instance, Buescher found himself a lap down early. But he recovered to get back on the lead lap and finished sixth.

In Chicago in July, Buescher was two laps down with carburetor issues, but he and his team made the necessary adjustments and won the race.

"We didn't lead too many laps that day, but we never gave up and led at the end," Buescher said. "We know that even if we are having a bad day, there's still time to change the outcome of the day most of the time. We just have to capitalize like we did in Chicago and last weekend.

"We just can't start to be overcautious because that's when things start to snowball fairly quickly. I'd like to win at least one of these final three races because that would put us in good shape."

Buescher is still searching for his first win on the 1.5-mile track at TMS. In seven truck races at Texas, Buescher's best finish is sixth. He has also raced four times in the Nationwide Series at TMS with a high finish of 11th.

It might just be a matter of time for Buescher, though, who has won at every other track at TMS. He has taken the checkered flags on the dirt track, the quarter-mile track, the Lil' Texas track and the road course.

"Everybody wants to win at their home track, and I have been in position to win races at Texas, but luck just hasn't fallen our way," Buescher said. "It's a race track I grew up watching and I've seen more races there than anywhere else and that definitely helps out. We're hoping to turn the bad luck around this weekend."

Buescher enters the race with four consecutive top-six finishes, including a win at Kentucky on Sept. 21. It was his fourth win of the season, which is impressive considering Buescher had never won a truck race before this season.

Now, he's in prime position to win it all.

"I don't think some people realize how stout the competition is," Buescher said. "It's been a single-digit points race the entire year until this week, and I'm glad it's not anymore. Hopefully we can keep it that way."

Drew Davison

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Twitter: @drewdavison