by Aaron Burns

MOORESVILLE – If Steve Turner wasn’t pleased with the number of trophies his race team had before 2012 began, he should be in better spirits now.



Turner, the owner of Mooresville-based Turner Motorsports, a NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series team, enjoyed unparalleled success in 2012.

James Buescher, 22, won the Camping World Truck Series championship, four Truck Series races, and a Nationwide race on Feb. 25 at Daytona International Speedway.

Buescher didn’t have a win to his credit when he began the season. Even the rough times Buescher had – two mid-season finishes outside the top 20 – were no cause for concern.

“A lot of the problems we had were out of our control,” he said.

What was in his control – driving and good communication – propelled him to the title.

Buescher wasn’t the only Turner driver to make a splash.

Nelson Piquet Jr., a 27-year-old former Formula One driver, won two Truck Series races and a Nationwide race at Road America despite being just two years removed from his NASCAR debut.

Piquet said his goal is to collect more trophies.

“I think we should’ve won even more races than we have,” he said. (Circumstances) kept us from getting more.”

Other team members also had impact this year.

Justin Allgaier won a Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Miguel Paludo won the Truck Series pole at Daytona.

Part-time Nationwide drivers Kasey Kahne and Alex Tagliani also won poles.

Turner made a strong Sprint Cup debut with Bill Elliott at Daytona in July.

The most impressive aspect of Turner’s season, Buescher said, was that such a young organization – started in 2009 – came to the forefront so quickly.

Turner, as a team, had only three wins before the 2012 season began. Putting the right drivers with the right crews clearly made a difference.

“Rome wasn’t built overnight,” Buescher said. “ It was a steady, uphill climb.”