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Nationwide: Buescher survives to take maiden win

James Buescher was outside the top ten of the Nationwide DRIVE4COPD 300 race through the final corner. But he was in front just seconds later.
James Buescher emerged as the winner of Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway, but don't ask him how he managed it.

"I somehow snuck through there and beat everybody through and dodged all the bullets," said Buescher, after claiming his first victory in Nationwide in 35 starts. "It's hard to describe the feeling when you make it through and you're the only guy coming to the chequered flag."

It really was lonely at the top for Buescher, who entered the final turn running at the back of the lead pack and outside the top ten, but seconds later was pretty much the last man standing. That was after the the most brutal accident of the race wiped out pretty much all of the leaders.

Polesitter Danica Patrick had led the field to green at the start of the race, and while she soon fell back from the front she was still dealing pretty well with the intriguing mix of pack and two-car tandem drafting that started to emerge. She lost touch with her various drafting partners from time to time but seemed to have good speed even when running solo, and was still well in the action by lap 49.

Unfortunately at that point her team mate for the afternoon, Cole Whitt, tried to link up with her for some drafting - and misjudged it. He bumped her several times through the turn, and the #7 lost stability and dipped down to the infield apron. Patrick tried to correct, and the car took off up the high banking and into the wall. The right front of the car was a mess, and Patrick limped back to the garage for repairs that took most of the rest of the race. Although she managed to return to the track near the end, she was classified with a 38th place finish.

Her team radio was apparently Not Fit For Broadcast as she made clear how unhappy she was with Whitt's actions. She stayed away from the media that swarmed around the JR Motorsports garage until she had cooled down, and by the time she spoke to the press she was able to take a cooler line.

"I don't think it's ever great when teammates come together, so we'll have to figure out what happened and move forward," she said simply. "We were just doing big pack racing and went down into three, got a little tap, got a little bit sideways, saved it, and then just got hit again and couldn't save it."

“There's not much to really tell her,” said Whitt in turn. "I got into the back of her ... I was just trying to get hooked up in a two-car tandem," he explained. "I got hold of her once on the backstretch and she got off, and tried to get back [to me] and when I got into her, it probably was too late on the straightway, enough to turn her around."

It had been the 19-year-old's first restrictor plate race in a Nationwide car at Daytona and he wasn't blaming Danica for of it. For his part, he said: "Obviously it wasn't intentional."




Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick loses control of her #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet after contact from teammate Cole Whitt (#88). [Picture Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
James Buescher celebrates winning the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win. [Picture Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
James Buescher avoids a multi-car accident in Turn 4 and took the lead to win the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NSACAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a line of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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