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Trucks: Buescher crowned champion after Gale win

James Buescher came away from Friday night's final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of 2012 with the championship, while Cale Gale scored his maiden series win.
It proved to be a dramatic and nail-biting finish to the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under the floodlights at Homestead-Miami on Friday evening, when it looked as though the title might be slipping out of James Buescher's fingers in the final laps as his rival Ty Dillon surged toward the front with two laps to go.

Buescher came into the race with an 11 point lead over Timothy Peters in the championship battle, and an even dozen over Ty Dillon - but it was clear from early on that it was the young rookie that Buescher had to worry about, while Peters' only hope was to be in the right place to pick up the pieces if anything went wrong with both of his rivals.

Buescher wasn't exactly looking at the top of his game at Homestead either, qualifying for the race in 17th place while Peters and Dillon were firmly in the top ten in sixth and seventh positions respectively. Pole had gone to Parker Kligerman, but only thanks to a car owner points tie-break with Kyle Larson who set exactly the same laptime (31.986s, 168.824mph) in the speed trials earlier in the day.

In the end, Kligerman only led for the first laps before being usurped by Nelson Piquet Jr. who stayed out in front for the remainder of a relatively uneventful opening stint that lasted until a debris caution on lap 37 brought everyone onto pit road. Kyle Busch emerged as the leader after the pit stops, but a second debris caution on lap 45 after Bryan Silas hit the wall in turn 4 saw Kyle Larson make a move at the ensuing restart on both Busch and Kligerman to take over at the front.

With the exception of some laps during which a sequence of green flag pit stops cycled through, Larson continued to control the race through to the next caution - again for debris - on lap 105. That was a blessing for Buescher, who after climbing as high as eighth at one point had now begun to fall back and was running in 12th place, the last car on the lead lap when the yellow flags came out.

Johnny Sauter took over the lead in the ensuing final round of pit stops under caution, but at the restart it was clearly Kyle Busch with the car to beat as he leapt away at the front from Larson, Matt Crafton, Sauter - and Ty Dillon. Buescher continued to circulated around in 12th place, which was enough to cover the threat from the youngster for the time being: from that position, Dillon would have to win the race outright to overhaul Buescher's points lead.

Buescher had strengthened his hand a little by climbing to 11th place with ten laps to go when the fourth caution of the day came out for a spin in turn 3 for Max Gresham. That closed up the field at the front and gave Ty Dillon the opportunity that he had been hoping for to surge to the front, and when the track went green that's exactly what he attempted by leaping up into second place. But Kyle Busch was still too fast and in control of the race, and that left Dillon one point shy of Buescher in the standings. He needed more.

And what Dillon emphatically didn't need was a challenge from Kyle Larson that could cost him his hard fought second spot. With two laps remaining, Larson made a spirited dive-bomb move for the position. Believing that he was clear of Larson's truck, Dillon made the decision to move down the track to thwart the counterattack, but it proved a costly call: the two made contact and wrecked, and in the process took out the innocent bystander of Ryan Blaney whose #29 erupted in a scary ball of fire from the violence of the ensuing impact with the outside wall.

“I'm all right,” said Blaney afterwards. "Just knocked the wind out of me there. It's one of the worst hits when you clipped like that."




Related Pictures

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James Buescher, driver of the #31 Great Clips Chevrolet, celebrates in Champions Victory Lane after winning the Series Championship and finishing in thirteenth place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2012 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Cale Gale, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2012 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Cale Gale, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota, to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2012 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Cale Gale, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota, to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2012 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Splash-FVP/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
German Quiroga, driver of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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