Trackin’ Trucks: Johnny Sauter wins at Texas

Johnny Sauter celebrates his win at Texas. 
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs

by Courtney Horn

Johnny Sauter earned his third win of the season Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway and punched his ticket to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs.

Sauter took the lead for the second time of the night on Lap 135 and held off fellow Playoff contender Austin Cindric by .170 seconds to win at Texas for the fourth time in his career.

“It’s unbelievable,” Sauter said, “I was actually pretty worried about our truck after qualifying — it was pretty loose. And all we did was lower the track bar a half-round.”

Sauter won the fall Texas race for the second year in a row but doesn’t put much thought into similarities versus his championship-winning season in 2016.

“I’m a realist, and I know you have to execute,” Sauter said. “Yes, this is looking a lot like it did last year, shaping up like it is. Honestly, this is our third win this year. I think we should have six or seven right now …”

“We’ve got to be humble and stay nose to the grindstone, so to speak. You can’t let your guard down.”

Matt Crafton finished ninth after a mid-race pit stop mistake sent the ThorSport Racing driver to the rear of the field. Crafton pitted under caution but was penalized for a crewman being over the wall too soon.

Ben Rhodes also had pit road troubles that puts his championship chances in jeopardy. Rhodes pitted with 20 laps remaining, but a loose tire forced the driver of the No. 27 Toyota to make a second stop. Rhodes finished 18th.

A Look Ahead Into The Playoffs

The Camping World Truck Series head to Phoenix, Arizona, for the last race in the Round of 6. Four drivers will advance for their shot at the title.

Sauter is the only driver guaranteed to advance. He sits second in the standings, four points behind leader Christopher Bell.
Rhodes and John Hunter Nemechek sit below the cutoff line. Nemechek is in a must-win situation after troubles in the last two weeks put him 39 points behind fourth place.

Five points separate Cindric and Rhodes.

Who will win next weekend at Phoenix and who will the Final 4 be? Find out Friday, November 10th at 8:30 p.m ET on Fox Sports 1.

Trackin’ Trucks: Johnny Sauter wins at Texas Trackin’ Trucks: Johnny Sauter wins at Texas Reviewed by Anonymous on Saturday, November 04, 2017 Rating: 5