After three top-three finishes in the final Truck Series points standings in the last three years, Buescher is leaving the relative comfort and security of Turner Scott Motorsports, a team founded by father-in-law Steve Turner, for a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series ride with RAB Racing.
"In some ways, it was a really difficult decision from a family aspect and everything that we've accomplished at Turner Scott Motorsports -- championships and race wins and poles and kind of building that organization with them," Buescher said Saturday during Nationwide Series testing at Daytona International Speedway, site of his only career Nationwide victory (2012). "Leaving was definitely tough."
In changing teams, Buescher also will have to get to know a new crew chief (Chris Rice) and acclimate to a new manufacturer (Toyota). Sponsor Rheem is moving with him to the No. 99 Camry owned by Robby Benton.
"Coming over to a new team, it's going to take some learning, and there's a lot of unknowns," Buescher said. "We have to learn each other, and I have to learn the cars and just the way things work and working with a new manufacturer. So I have a lot of unknowns, but I feel like we'll be competitive for a championship."
Buescher recognizes, however, that he faces a distinct move up in class.
"The competition level is definitely a step up," he said. "(In) Truck racing, you have a couple of guys come down from the (Sprint) Cup Series -- in an average race, you have one or two. And over in the Nationwide Series, just about every week there's around 10. Obviously, the competition goes up, and the amount of races and the length of races, just getting used to all those different things on a full-time basis.
"I've raced plenty of Nationwide races in the past (58 starts in the past six years), so I feel like I'm going to get in the swing of things even faster than if I had only raced five or six Nationwide races. But I'm excited to be full-time in the series, and it's got its challenges, but I feel like I'm ready to tackle them."
Buescher's long-term goal is ascension to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With that in mind, Buescher believes the move to RAB, whose lone NNS win came at Montreal in 2010 with road-course ringer Boris Said behind the wheel, is his best career option at this point.
"I want to make it to the Sprint Cup level, and I want to be a Sprint Cup champion one day," Buescher said. "I have to make the moves in my career that are best for me, and I feel like coming over to RAB Racing and Toyota -- and being able to bring Rheem with me as the sponsor -- was the best situation for me to be in right now. We had a test at Nashville back in December that went really well, and this is my second time in the car (Saturday), and we were fastest in the single-car runs all morning and second fastest in the draft. ? I'm thinking things are going to go really well, and like I said, I'm really excited to finally be in the Nationwide Series full-time."
FULL SERIES COVERAGE
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Turner Scott Motorsports