When Turner-Scott Motorsports announced that James Buescher was leaving the organization, it was a move that surprised many fans. After all, team co-owner Steve Turner is Buescher’s father-in-law.
“I have always been supportive of James and I am very proud of everything that he has accomplished while driving for our team,” Turner said in the announcement. “I am excited for James and his new opportunities, and everyone at TSM would like to wish him the best in his future endeavors. I will always continue to support him and cheer him on as a member of my family, but his departure from Turner Scott Motorsports does not change the passion I have for this team. I love racing and have no plans to diminish my role as a co-owner of our organization. I am looking forward to a successful season in 2014 with a very strong lineup of drivers.”
Immediately when the word “opportunity” popped up, a lot of people were wondering what Buescher had in store for the season ahead. It didn’t take long for that announcement to happen as Buescher made it known to the public that very same Friday afternoon – he would be moving to RAB Racing in 2014 in the Nationwide Series.
“My first couple of years in NASCAR have been a dream come true, and I can’t thank Turner Scott Motorsports enough for the opportunity they have given me to develop my skills,” Buescher said. “I am very excited to be able to take the next step in my career, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity that RAB Racing is giving me to run full time in the Nationwide Series. I am really excited to get back behind the wheel of a Toyota and I am looking forward to driving their cars next year. RAB Racing is a solid organization with great people; I can’t wait to get to work with them.”
Buescher has spent the past five seasons honing his skills in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, including a championship last year. This past season he finished third in points with two wins, four top fives and 14 top 10s. He has proven that he is one of the best there. So it’s time to move on.
Moving up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series is the next step in the ladder. Turner-Scott Motorsports has a Nationwide Series so couldn’t he drive that for them?
Sure, he could have, but was the sponsorship and room there to make it happen? TSM is known for running drivers in a number of a races – but only a few in full-time schedules. Could the room be made for Buescher?
Also, the logical side is to look beyond the Nationwide Series – the Sprint Cup Series. Running with a Chevrolet team, could he move up to the Cup level?
TSM gets their chassis and motors from Hendrick Motorsports. Three of the four rides are HMS are occupied by drivers that will be racing for at least another 10 years – champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. The fourth ride is occupied by Jeff Gordon. It’s no secret that ride is spoken for already by Chase Elliott in the future.
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing also gets support from Hendrick Motorsports and has filled two of their rides with Jamie McMurray and rookie Kyle Larson. But can they expand to three teams? Highly unlikely based on the fact that they haven’t had success with their two cars lately. They first need to get them to be championship contending without looking beyond that.
Stewart-Haas Racing is another team connected with Hendrick Motorsports, but their four rides are highly spoken for – Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch.
Richard Childress Racing runs Chevrolets, but those seats are spoken for based on the Dillon brothers and new hire Ryan Newman.
So there is no room for improvement on that side. However, switching over to RAB Racing – there are open seats. Specifically, top team Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR is only running three Cup cars right now – Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. They could have Buescher in their fourth in the future, possibly.
There’s also room at Toyota organization Michael Waltrip Racing if funding can be found down the road despite the Richmond Chase scandal from last year. MWR currently has two full-time cars – Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer – and a third part-time car with Jeff Burton and Michael Waltrip. A fourth seat is open, if possible.
The key word for Buescher is opportunity. If he has success, opportunities could open up for the young driver and with being in the Toyota fold, his options look better than ever.