FORT WORTH, Texas -- Driving in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is something of a racing life preserver for 20-year-old Plano native James Buescher, who expected to spend the season racing full time in the Nationwide Series.
His Nationwide ride went south from the start. His Phoenix Racing team lost its sponsorship before the season started, and a series of poor results and crashes led to him being dropped.
Four races into the truck series, Buescher found a new home with Turner Motorsports driving the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals Chevrolet.
Buescher, who now resides in Katy, outside of Houston, came into Texas Motor Speedway and the WinStar World Casino 400k on a roll, having finished fourth at Charlotte and second at Dover in the last two races after getting reacquainted with the trucks (he started 26 races in 2008 and 2009) at Nashville (13th) and Kansas (16th).
He had an up-and-down race Friday night but managed to stay in it, which is better than more than half the field could say. With the help of six caution flags, Buescher picked up his third consecutive top-10 finish, making a late surge from 13th to finish sixth as just 17 of 36 trucks finished the race.
Buescher is happy to have a ride again, but he sees the day when he hops out of the truck and jumps back in the car.
"It's possible I can make a home here or go on to Nationwide or the [Sprint] Cup level," Buescher said. "Whatever opportunities are given to me, I can decide if I want to take them or not. If the right opportunity is given to me, I can probably try to make a home there."
Friday night's finish moved Buescher up to 21st in the points standings with 719 points, despite missing the first three races of the season. Only two other drivers ahead of him in the standings -- Kyle Busch (787 points) and Johnny Benson (735) -- have also had just five starts. Seventeen of the top 20 have eight starts.
"It's about putting yourself around the right people that want to work with you," Buescher said. "If you have the equipment to be able to run up front, you can contend for wins. I think that's what we have."
Bodine wins again: Race winner Todd Bodine took his sixth checkered flag at TMS and broke a 24-race winless streak. His last win came at TMS on June 5, 2009.
Bodine leads the points standings by 65 over Aric Almirola, who finished 12th.
Sauter stays hot: Johnny Sauter's second-place finish was his third top-10 finish in four races at TMS and his third top 10 of 2010.
Rookie has best finish: Austin Dillon's third-place finish is his best career finish and first top five in the NASCAR truck series. He was the highest-finishing rookie in the race.
Jeff Caplan covers motorsports for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter.