Friday, November 2, 2012

Sauter sweeps NCWTS in the Lone Star State

Credit: Skirts and Scuffs
In the WinStar Casino 350, Johnny Sauter got a black Charlie 1 Horse to go with the white one he earned in June. In the process he became just the third Camping World Truck Series driver to sweep at Texas Motor Speedway. Parker Kligerman finished second, posting his fourth top-ten finish at the track. Polesitter Nelson Piquet Jr. wound up third after leading the most laps. Points leader James Buescher had some contact on a restart and wound up in 11th and retained the points lead, though Ty Dillon, who had some trouble of his own, cut it from 21 points to 15.

In a race filled with long green flag runs interrupted by only two cautions - a record, for only eight laps - also a record, Sauter's team managed to adjust the SealMaster Toyota on their last pit stop and pass Kligerman for the lead. "I'm so proud of this team," said Sauter. "It would be easy to hang our heads after the season we've had."

The win gives Sauter and his team "a shot in the arm" both to finish the rest of the season strong, and as redemption for his loss after a lane-change violation in June, 2011. He likes winning at Texas because "Gramma lives right down the road." so it's special for him to take the trophy in her backyard.

Kligerman said, "I hate finishing second. I don't know what else to say. You don't ever want to lose one that way. To see them coming up behind you with 15 or 20 to go and they pass you and drive away - it eats at you." His crew chief called for two tires at the last minute on the last stop but evidently the jackman didn't get the message because he jacked up the other side of the truck, costing precious seconds getting out of the pits.

Though he was strong early, Piquet Jr. couldn't hold off Kligerman and Sauter. "It's a fast track, very slick. It changes a lot from the beginning to the end of the race," Piquet Jr. said. Much was made of his Tag Heuer night vision glasses, which he said helped him see better without being uncomfortable. "I forgot I had them on until I took off my helmet," he said.

Despite having the hood on the No. 18 up during the first caution, Kyle Busch brought his Toyota home fourth. Dillon's issues began with debris blocking the grille of the No. 3, sending temps up and slowing the truck. Once the grille was clean, he made up time and finished fifth.

Of note, Brandon McReynolds made his first NCWTS start and came home in 18th.

For the full results, click here.

The Championship points standings are here.

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