James Buescher was back on familiar ground on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway: victory lane here is fast becoming a second home for the 22-year-old, who was last here as recently as June after dominating that race by leading 119 of 150 laps.
He didn't enjoy that sort of domination this time around, but a large part of that was a caution-strewn first half of proceedings which made it difficult for anyone to get a grip on the race. Even so, he would lead 64 of the 134 laps of the Kentucky 201 under the floodlights.
"You couldn't figure out the balance of the truck because of all the cautions," explained Buescher of problems early in the race. "It was difficult because at one point we kept having caution after caution."
The next-best tally was the 39 laps in the lead, which was the total achieved by polesitter Joey Coulter and 17 of which were at the very start of the race - during which time Buescher moved his way smartly up to second place from eighth on the grid - until the first caution of the evening came out for a spin by Todd Bodine coming out of turn 4 but fortunately not hitting anything in the process.
Bodine was not so fortunate at the restart, when Johnny Sauter promptly blew a tyre and spun. collecting not just Bodine but also Tim George Jr. in turn 4. While Bodine was unhurt, this time the damage to Bodine's truck was extensive and he was the main casualty of the race, unable to continue when the race eventually resumed after a lengthy clean-up.
Brian Scott had taken the lead of the race during this period ahead of Buescher who was still running in second, with Nelson Piquet Jr., Parker Kligerman and Coulter giving chase. Once again there was almost no time for racing before the yellows were out again for a third time - Bryan Silas had gone for a solo spin and brushed the wall in turn 2 - but it was enough for Buescher to have got his nose ahead of Scott and lead for the first time under the yellows.
The next green flag period from lap 42 lasted slightly longer - five laps - before another spinner brought out the next caution. This time it was Brennan Newberry losing the #14 in turn 3 which brought out the yellows again, during which time many of the leaders took the opportunity to pit while last week's race winner Ryan Blaney opted to stay out and inherited the lead for the restart ahead of Jason White, Justin Lofton, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Coulter and Ty Dillon.
Running in his back-up truck after a practice mishap earlier in the day, Blaney kept the lead into the next predictably rapid-onset caution on lap 55, this time for a turn 2 accident which saw former championship leader Timothy Peters make contact with Max Gresham which sent him into the wall, after which he was collected by John King as his truck slid back down the banking.
Coulter got the better of Blaney at the restart and retook the lead for the first time since that first caution on lap 17 and would lead the race for the next 22 laps of green flag running, until the penultimate caution of the race came out on lap 81 when Parker Kligerman got too close to the left rear of John Wes Townley, had to avoid contact and in the process lost control of the #7 and consequently spun on the front stretch.