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Buescher wins NASCAR Trucks at Chicagoland

Saturday - 7/21/2012, 10:56pm  ET

By CHRIS JENKINS
AP Sports Writer

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - James Buescher took the lead from Timothy Peters on the last lap, then held off a charge from Brendan Gaughan to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.

It was Buescher's third career win, with all three coming this season. Buescher previously won at Kansas and Kentucky.

Gaughan finished second after dominating the majority of the race. Peters was third, followed by Matt Crafton and Parker Kligerman.

It was the 200th career start in Trucks for Todd Bodine, making him the only driver with at least 200 starts in all three of NASCAR's national series. Bodine finished 18th.

Buescher and Peters went side-by-side on the final restart with two laps to go, and Buescher took the lead on the last lap. Gaughan surged to second but couldn't catch Buescher.

Buescher's win came despite a lengthy pit stop just past the race's halfway point because of an apparent mechanical issue.

"I can't say enough about these guys," Buescher said of his team.

Peters leads Ty Dillon by 23 points in the series standings. Dillon finished 12th.

Peters had to start Saturday's race at the back of the pack after his team made an engine change.

"Tonight was very good," Peters said. "I'm proud of the team. This team is very good at overcoming adversity."

Ron Hornaday Jr. slid sideways across the finish line, but still managed to finish seventh.

Gaughan led a race-high 83 laps and appeared to be in good position to win at the end, but he spun his tires on the second-to-last restart.

"Second place looks like it'd be fantastic, but not when you have a truck that good," Gaughan said.

Gaughan dominated the early stages of the race, giving up the lead when he made a green-flag pit stop on lap 48 but quickly regaining it.

A spin by Chris Fontaine brought out a caution, allowing the leaders to make a final round of pit stops with 50 laps to go. Gaughan lost the lead, taking four tires during his pit stop and falling back to sixth on the restart as Joey Coulter took the lead.

But Coulter fell back on the restart, then hit the wall and spun out to bring out another caution a few laps later.

Dillon then took the lead from Justin Lofton on lap 118, with Gaughan taking second. Peters eventually moved up to third and caught the leaders with 20 laps to go.

Dillon then appeared to brush the wall, allowing Gaughan to slip past and take the lead with Peters moving up to second.

Then a caution came out with 15 laps to go, bunching up the field for a restart with nine laps to go.

Gaughan appeared to spin his tires on the restart, allowing Peters to edge ahead _ then Gaughan got loose later in the lap, losing a few spots.

"There was no truck out there that was going to beat (us), unless we beat ourselves," Gaughan said. "And I did _ I spun my tires on (the restart), I gave an opening, and that's what you can't do."

Buescher passed Peters for the lead with seven to go, but a caution came out to set up the final restart.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)