Saturday, May 5, 2018

Trackin’ Trucks: Johnny Sauter wins at Dover

Johnny Sauter claimed his second Camping World Truck Series race of the year at
Dover International Speedway on Friday. Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

By Courtney Horn

Johnny Sauter earned his second Camping World Truck Series win of the season Friday during the JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Sauter battled with Noah Gragson for several laps, but a mistake made by Gragson led to Sauter’s second straight Dover win.

Sauter was running second with 10 laps to go, but was able to catch Gragson on Lap 195. Gragson blocked Sauter and the GMS Racing driver got loose and scraped the wall.

Sauter was determined, however, and ran side-by-side with Gragson until Gragson spun with two laps to go.

“We had to work for this one today,” Sauter said. “Noah, I had a good run on him there, and he squeezed me off. And I was like, ‘He just gave me the green light to be aggressive.’ This was just hard racing right there.”

Gragson finished in the 20th position after his late-race spin. He led 60 laps and won Stage 1.

“I’m really disappointed in myself,” Gragson said. “It’s just a racing deal. These things are so hard to win, and I was so close to getting my first win (of the season). I went up to side-draft him and got pointed to the inside wall and went up to side-draft him again — and it was just a racing deal.

“Not the way I try to race people. I take full responsibility in that right there. It was a hundred percent my fault. It’s just unacceptable on my part. Man, I was so close to winning. All I can think about is just the mistake I made. I really wanted to get that monster (trophy). This is such a bad-ass track, and not to be able to get it done … I’m just devastated.”

Matt Crafton, Justin Haley, David Gilliland and Harrison Burton rounded out the top 5.

Cody Coughlin finished in the sixth position after being involved in an early crash with Stewart Friesen. Friesen finished 20th after additional contact with the wall on Lap 156.

Ben Rhodes recovered from early pit road contact with Gragson to finish in the eighth position.

A Look Ahead

The Camping World Truck Series head to Kansas Speedway on May 11.

Sauter finished second to Kyle Busch at the mile-and-a-half track one year ago. Can he close the deal for his second straight victory of the season?

Sauter extended his points standings lead to 51 points over Rhodes and 58 over Gragson.

Catch Sauter and Gragson on Friday, May 11, at 8:30 p.m ET on Fox Sports 1.

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