Buescher Back in Title Hunt

J.Buescher

With two wins in his last four starts, Buescher looks to further cut into Matt Crafton’s lead in the Camping World Truck Series standings Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. - James Buescher looks to cut into Matt Crafton’s lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings in Friday’s EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The defending series champion has sliced Crafton’s advantage to 37 points after his win last Sunday at Iowa Speedway.  It was his second victory of the season and first on a short track in his six career wins.

"I'm really excited about winning at Iowa, a track that we've been going to for a long time and haven't had the best of results," said Buescher, who drives the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet.  "We were finally able to get that monkey off our back and put a 'W' in the win column there."

The trip to Victory Lane definitely has Buescher riding high into Chicagoland, where he is the defending race winner.  Last year, Buescher came from two laps down to score the win, one of four he had during the championship effort.

"I couldn't be more excited about going back to Chicagoland Speedway, especially coming off a huge win," said Buescher, who will make his fifth career NCWTS start at Chicagoland on Friday.  "This style of track falls right into our wheelhouse and I feel like our team will be able to come out of here with another solid finish - hopefully, our third victory of the season."

Crafton was able to score his 15th consecutive top-10 finish in Iowa but wasn’t able to stop Buescher from getting closer in the standings.

"I've been put in some positions I didn't want to be in on those restarts," Crafton said after his seventh-place Iowa finish.  "But I just couldn't give up any more points.  On one restart, Johnny (Sauter) and I were three-wide - I was in the middle - and I got hit in the rear quarter.  It was like, 'Here we go.'  But we survived, we'll go on and get after them at Chicagoland."

Still lurking third in the standings is Ty Dillon, who comes to Joliet 58 points behind Crafton.  With seven races left, the Richard Childress Racing driver hasn’t given up hope of winning this year’s title before he moves to the Nationwide Series in 2014.

"We've had some really fast trucks recently," said Dillon.  "We just haven't gotten the finishes we deserved.  Last weekend was a true testament to how hard this team works each week.  They could have given up after our alternator died, but they kept their heads up and kept digging.  This is what a championship-caliber team is made of.

"We're not out of this thing, yet.  We'll keep working toward wins and those wins will get us closer to the championship."

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Friday’s EnjoyIllinois.com 225 beginning at 8 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

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