Showing posts with label Johnny Sauter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johnny Sauter. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fast Facts: Johnny Sauter

Johnny Sauter in victory lane at Talladega - Oct. 19, 2013
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images
When the smoke finally cleared, Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter was the first driver to cross the finish line at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 19. Learn more about the Truck Series’ most recent winner in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Jonathan Joseph Sauter was born May 1, 1978 in Necedah, Wisconsin. He is the son of former NASCAR driver Jim Sauter, and his brothers Tim and Jay also competed in all three top NASCAR Series. 
  • Sauter began racing in numerous series in Wisconsin and the Midwest following his graduation from high school in 1996, eventually joining the American Speed Association (ASA) in 1998; in 2001, Sauter was crowned ASA champ.
  • Sauter’s ASA title earned him a five-race Busch (now Nationwide) Series deal with Richard Childress Racing at the end of 2001; he earned three top 15 finishes in those five starts and a full-time ride with RCR in the series for 2002, when he won his first race at Chicagoland Speedway. In 2003 he split seat time with RCR and the Curb-Agajanian Performance Group; Sauter combined with Kevin Harvick in the RCR No. 21 to win the Busch Series’ owners’ championship. He also made his Cup Series and his Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series debuts in 2003.
  • Through the three series, Sauter has driven for numerous teams, including Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Phoenix Racing, Brewco Motorsports, Haas CNC Racing, Tommy Baldwin Racing and Prism Motorsports. 
  • He currently races in No. 98 Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing in the Camping World Truck Series, where he has been racing full-time since 2009. He took his first career Truck Series win that year, taking the checkered flag at Las Vegas, and took home  the series’ Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Sauter and his wife Cortney have two children, son Penn and daughter Paige.
  • Find out more about Sauter at his website,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Johnny Sauter scores pole for WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway

Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
He's not sure if it's the track or his grandma's chicken and dumplings, but Johnny Sauter loves Texas Motor Speedway. He's won the last two Camping World Truck races at the Great American Speedway and he added a pole to that tally. His lap of 180.222 mph bested Ty Dillon by .073 seconds.

Sauter has five poles in his Truck career and two of them are at TMS. Two of his eight career wins are at the mile-and-a-half oval and he's looking to make it three in a row.

Dillon wants to knock Sauter's name off the banner in victory lane and thinks the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy is the truck to do it. 

Starting third will be rookie Jeb Burton, who was disappointed over his run. 

"You can't win them all," Dillon told him. 

Four-time Texas winner Brendan Gaughan lines up fourth and Miguel Paludo completes the top five.

Here's the full lineup. Note that only 32 trucks made the trip to Texas rather than the usual 36. 

1. Johnny Sauter 
2. Ty Dillon  
3. Jeb Burton 
4. Brendan Gaughan  
5. Miguel Paludo  
6. Ryan Blaney 
7. Timothy Peters 
8. Matt Crafton  
9. Ron Hornaday Jr. 
10. Ross Chastain  
11. Joey Coulter  
12. John Wes Townley  
13. German Quiroga  
14. Max Gresham 
15. Ryan Sieg 
16. Darrell Wallace Jr 
17. Dakoda Armstrong  
18. James Buescher 
19. Tim George Jr.  
20. Brennan Newberry  
21. Chad Hackenbracht 
22. Todd Bodine  
23. Tyler Young  
24. David Starr  
25. Danny Efland
26. Chris Cockrum  
27. Chris Jones  
28. Johnny Chapman  
29. Norm Benning  
30. Jennifer Jo Cobb  
31. Chris Lafferty  
32. Justin Jennings  

The WinStar World Casino 400 is scheduled for 8 p.m. Central Friday night.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sauter loses Truck Series points lead after fuel cell infractions at Kansas

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 24, 2013) – NASCAR announced today penalties and fines to the No. 98 ThorSport Racing team that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, due to rule infractions at Kansas Speedway. As a result, Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 truck and winner of two races this season, falls out of the series points lead.

Sauter's No. 98 truck was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (if in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously verified or previously approved and/or sealed by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-6 and/or 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired, or changed in any manner); 20B-16 (once a fuel cell or fuel cell components have been certified, modifications of any kind will not be permitted to the fuel cell or fuel cell components); and 20B-16.1B (standard black, safety foam with minimum free-standing height of eight (8) inches, acceptable to NASCAR Officials, and used as provided by an approved fuel cell manufacturer, must be used: Fuel cell safety foam modification) of the 2013 rule book.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Joel Shear has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR competition until the completion of the next four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. He has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Sauter was also docked 25 championship driver points and team owner Mike Curb was docked 25 championship owner points. As a result of the points penalty, Sauter, who won the Daytona and Martinsville races, drops from series points leader to second place, behind ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton.

The violations involving the No. 98 truck occurred in opening day inspection.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Veteran Johnny Sauter triumphs over rookie Jeb Burton

Johnny Sauter and the No. 98 in victory lane at Martinsville.
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images
They say that old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.

While that adage might be applied to Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say, in this case at least, experience and patience overcame youth and enthusiasm.

The Kroger 250 started with the youngest front row in the history of the series. Jeb Burton set a record as the youngest to claim the Keystone "21 Means 21" Pole Award a full four months before his 21st birthday.
Jeb Burton in the No. 4 leads Darrell Wallace Jr. at the green flag.
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr., who's more than a year younger than Burton - Wallace Jr. won't even turn 20 until October - came up just .023 short and started on the outside of the front row.

Burton also led the most laps with 154 and Wallace Jr. led second-most with 34.

Yet when the checkered flag flew after 250 laps of short-track beating and banging, it was 34-year-old Johnny Sauter in front of 36-year-old Matt Crafton for the win. Burton finished third, his second top five of the season. Wallace Jr. finished fifth, behind 32-year-old veteran Timothy Peters. With the exception of 54-year-old veteran Ron Hornaday, the remainder of the top ten were age 25 and under: Chase Elliott (17) in sixth, Dakoda Armstrong (21) in seventh, Ryan Seig (25) in eighth and the youngest competitor, Erik Jones, 16, in ninth.

Of the 36 starters, 17 were 25 or under with seven of those still in their teens. At the other end of the spectrum were Hornaday, 11th-13th place finishers Todd Bodine (49), David Starr (45) and Jeff Agnew (47).  Robert Bruce (49) finished 28th and 61-year-old Norm Benning, the oldest driver in the field, wound up in 33rd.

Ron Hornaday after Jeb Burton's bump
Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Virginia native Burton drove an impressive race with the exception of one incident in which he carefully worked his way up from about seventh place after a restart, all the way to leader Ron Hornaday's rear bumper. Apparently a bit earlier in the race Mr. Hornaday didn't give the rookie the room he needed, so Burton wasn't as deferential to the veteran leader as perhaps he might otherwise have been. When Hornaday came down in front of Burton, Burton didn't lift and plowed into the four-time champion, spinning him into the wall and causing significant damage.

Though Burton apologized on the radio, saying he didn't mean to wreck Hornaday, he likely put a target on his back with his actions. Respect on the track must be earned, and Hornaday's teammate Kevin Harvick pulled up next to Burton under caution and pointed at him, reminding him of that fact. Later in the race Harvick deftly rode the bumper of the No. 4, applying enough pressure that the younger driver would know he was there, that he could have spun Burton out, but chose not to do so.

Despite a beat-up racetruck, Hornaday came back to finish tenth.

Post-race, Burton explained why he lost the lead with 17 to go.

"We just lost forward bite coming off the corner. We could kill them going in the middle, but coming off we just couldn't stay with them at the end. It was a good truck all day, from the beginning. We won the pole, got a new track record, won practice, finished third, we got nothing to hang our head about."

Second-place finisher Crafton said, "Just shows what this team, [the] ThorSport organization I mean, what we're going to have this year. We're going to be a championship-contending team, both of us, Johnny and I."

Sauter, who now has eight career wins in the Camping World Truck series, is running the No. 98 this season and was asked about his move to take the lead.

"I just tried to time it just right – that’s the key. So proud of everybody on this Carolina Nut Curb Racing Toyota. All of our sponsors, all of the guys at ThorSport. They’ve been working hard in the shop. It was a long day. Tire wear was amazing. We kind of had an idea it was going to be like that all day," Sauter said. “Two for two, starting out - this is unbelievable.”

For the full race results, click here.

Sauter retained the points lead but Burton climbed into second place, in front of Crafton, Hornaday, and Wallace Jr. The full points standings are here

The Camping World Truck Series visits the Rock on Sunday, April 14th. Tune in to see the sparks fly.

Janine, aka Lisa or LJ, Cloud, a fifth-generation Texan, lives in Houston and considers Texas Motor Speedway her home track.

She's been a part of the Skirts and Scuffs team since May 2011, going from contributor to media rep, photographer, and associate editor covering both NASCAR and IZOD IndyCar. Janine considers it a privilege to represent the site at the track and to share with readers the excitement of the world of motorsports.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Johnny Sauter survives to score NCWTS win at Daytona

Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after
winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona on Friday.
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
In 2012, Johnny Sauter led heading to the white flag at Daytona but was spun by rookie John King, costing Sauter the win. In 2013 Sauter led heading to the white flag but held on to score his first win at the high-banked track and the seventh of his career, giving Toyota their 100th series victory in the process.

Kyle Busch lamented the finish under caution as he was left with another second-place finish. Behind him were Ron Hornaday Jr., Justin Lofton and Jeb Burton. Burton, son of Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, was impressive in his debut at the track.

The Truck Series made the first points-paying laps of the 2013 season Friday night in the NextEra Energy Resources 250, and there was no lack of dramatic moments. The first came when Brendan Gaughan tried to slide between rookies Brennan Newberry and Herman Quiroga, ending up wrecking himself and a dozen other trucks. Gaughan admitted that the accident was his fault for putting himself in that precarious position.

Tension ratcheted up through the rest of the race, though for a while it seemed Ty Dillon was in control, leading a career-high 56 laps as part of the total 11 lead changes among six drivers. Four of the six cautions on the night were for accidents. Sauter took point for the final time on Lap 85 and managed to take the white flag before a wreck broke out behind him.

Rookie Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. finished 12th in his debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

The top 10 in series points are:

(1) J. Sauter 47; (2) R. Hornaday Jr. 41; (3) J. Lofton 41; (4) T. Dillon 40; (5) J. Burton 39; (6) M. Paludo 37; (7) R. Blaney 36; (8) M. Crafton 35; (9) R. Sieg 34; (10) T. Bodine 34.

Full finishing order:
       1. (98) Johnny Sauter, Toyota
       2. (6) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota  
       3. (4) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet,  
       4. (2) Justin Lofton, Chevrolet 
       5. (7) Jeb Burton #, Chevrolet,  
       6. (5) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet 
       7. (8) Miguel Paludo, Chevrolet
       8. (11) Ryan Blaney #, Ford  
       9. (17) Matt Crafton, Toyota 
       10. (31) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet 
       11. (26) Todd Bodine, Toyota 
       12. (14) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Toyota
       13. (3) James Buescher, Chevrolet
       14. (16) Ross Chastain, Ford 
       15. (33) Chris Cockrum, Toyota 
       16. (24) Tim George Jr., Ford 
       17. (32) Norm Benning, Chevrolet 
       18. (21) John King, Chevrolet 
       19. (13) Dakoda Armstrong, Chevrolet 
       20. (36) Dusty Davis, Chevrolet 
       21. (28) John Wes Townley, Toyota 
       22. (10) Joey Coulter, Toyota 
       23. (30) Jeff Agnew, Chevrolet, Accident 
       24. (12) Max Gresham, Chevrolet, Accident 
       25. (20) German Quiroga #, Toyota
       26. (19) Clay Greenfield, RAM 
       27. (23) Timothy Peters, Toyota 
       28. (9) Ryan Truex #, Chevrolet 
       29. (15) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet 
       30. (29) Jason White(i), Chevrolet, Accident 
       31. (34) David Starr, Toyota, Suspension 
       32. (27) Bryan Silas, Ford, Accident 
       33. (1) Brennan Newberry #, Chevrolet, Accident 
       34. (22) Chris Fontaine, Toyota, Accident 
       35. (35) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Engine 
       36. (18) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, Engine 
# - Rookie
i  - Ineligible for points

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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NASCAR penalizes No. 13 Truck Series team, No. 6 and No. 14 Nationwide teams

The No. 13 truck of Johnny Sauter failed post-race inspection
after Sunday's Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway. 
(Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Six-point penalty assessed to No. 13 truck drops Johnny Sauter to 2nd in series standings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2011) – The No. 13 team that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the No. 6 and 14 teams that compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series were penalized Tuesday as a result of rules violations committed this past weekend.

The No. 13 truck driven by Johnny Sauter, who had been series points leader, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20B-12.8.1D (truck failed to meet maximum right rear bed panel height) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.

As a result, crew chief Joel Shear has been fined $5,000 while Sauter and owner Mike Curb have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and owner points, respectively. The violation was discovered during post-race inspection Aug. 7 at Pocono Raceway.

As a result of the six-point penalty, Sauter drops to second in the standings, one point behind new points leader Austin Dillon.

Both the race-winning No. 6 and the No. 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4-J; and 20A-10.7G (lug nuts were less than the minimum specified thickness) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.

As a result, Michael Kelly, crew chief for the No. 6, and Gary Cogswell, crew chief for the No. 14, have each been fined $2,500 and placed on NASCAR probation until Sept. 21. These violations were discovered during pre-qualifying inspection on Aug. 6 at Iowa Speedway.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NCWTS Points Leader Fails Post Race Inspection

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The #13 SafeAuto Insurance Chevy Silverado of Camping World Truck Series points leader Johnny Sauter failed post race inspection Sunday morning at Pocono Raceway.

Sauter, who finished fouth, increased his series points lead to five over Austin Dillion but his truck was too high in the right rear, according to NASCAR.

The truck was a backup as Sauter crashed during qualifying on Saturday.

The ThorSport racing driver can expect penalties for the infraction. Penalties are generally announced on Tuesday afternoon. Stay with Skirts and Scuffs for the latest.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Johnny Sauter: Running for the title

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Often misplaced in the chatter of the racing with the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series sits the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I was presented with the opportunity to speak with two of the standout drivers of the NCWTS, Johnny Sauter and his ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton. For the interview with Matt read: Matt Crafton: "I'd Rather Be Lucky."

Following in the footsteps of his father Jim, Johnny began racing at the age of 18, a decision his father set in motion. The rule in the house was to finish school first before racing and upon graduating that is what Johnny did. From that day on ... Johnny never looked back, racing was his chosen path.

Johnny has had a presence in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and now finds himself in the Camping World Truck Series, where he currently sits second in the points.

Join me in learning more about Johnny Sauter, the man and the racer.

Amanda Ebersole (AE): You only got started driving at the age of 18, and I say only because today’s drivers are starting before they enter kindergarten. How was that a hindrance on your career?
Johnny Sauter (JS): You know I see so many kids now days that race and don’t even know what is going on and they don’t appreciate the opportunities. I think when you get to a certain age you start to respect things a little more. For me, I was able to go to the race track at a younger age with my brothers and just kind of get educated about race cars before I started driving them; I pretty much knew the ins and outs with working on them. I feel like that put me where I needed to be, you can learn what you need to drive in about a year.

AE: So it’s a decision you don’t begrudge your father with making?
JS: Absolutely not! A wise man once told me, my father brought me into the world and he can take me out. 

AE: Coming from a family with 12 children, was that hard for you to then start driving when you turned 18? Meaning financially because as we know, racing is not cheap.
JS: No, my first race car I had, my dad made me pay for everything myself. Obviously in the earlier years, or earlier teenage years I had the option to save the money cause this was something I knew I wanted to do. He (Johnny’s father) was able to help me with all the technological stuff as far as learning about chassis and setups, things like that, the nuts and bolts of it. The financial side of it, I just had lots of good friends and people who wanted to help me try to race. I have never forgotten those people. I think I learned how to race the way they did in the 70s, that was the mentality my father had and I am glad it was that way. I don’t like the way I see racing going and I am glad I got to come up the way that I did.

AE: With your father’s racing career, was he a role model and mentor for you starting out?
JS: Absolutely, no question. I used to go to the track to watch him race all the time. I also have a couple older brothers who raced so hanging out with those guys I learned a lot just by watching. I am a firm believer that too many people don’t sit back, pay attention and watch. They think that they know everything so they automatically jump into doing things when you can learn a lot by sitting back and being quiet and paying attention.

AE: You have raced all the top series in NASCAR: spending years in Sprint Cup, time in Nationwide but now seeming to find your home in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Most drivers prefer to be in the Cup Series, although some of the best racing can be found in the Truck Series.
JS: I never looked at it like that; first time I drove a race car I never had any intentions of being in NASCAR one day. I didn’t care, it was going to the race track and racing. The objective always has and always will be going to the track to be competitive, whether or not you are in Sprint Cup ... I don’t really care. For me it’s about being competitive and you can go to the Truck Series and be competitive.

AE: You don’t care about the labels then, it’s about the racing ... pure and simple!
JS: Yeah I don’t care about the labels. I actually prefer truck racing, it’s a lot more like your local Saturday night short track racing. Not a lot of crowds, a little more laid back, but seems to be harder racing and that is what I prefer.
Johnny, wife Cortney and son Penn during pre-race at Charlotte
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
AE: You and the No. 13 Safe Auto team are having a great start to the year. Earlier you and Crafton were 1 and 2 in points and are currently 2nd and 3rd though you are only  1 point behind Cole Whitt. Is there anything different going on this year?
JS:  I don’t think so, it’s just the fact that I have been there for a couple years now and I am more familiar with my team and with our trucks. Crafton has always been the guy the last couple of seasons that is usually in the top five so I think it's working out to be that way now. Let’s face it, last year we finished 3rd and 4th in points, but the No. 13 truck (and I speak for myself) we got off to a slow start at Daytona and we pretty much played catchup for the rest of the year. I consider us a team that can do this; people just see it now because obviously the way things have shaken out we have both been competitive.

AE: Your win at Martinsville, that had to be a highlight for your year thus far. Winning on Saturday and beating Kyle Busch to do so followed up by the birth of you daughter Paige just days later. By the way that is some victory prize! Can the year get any better?
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR
JS: Absolutely! It can always get better but it can also always get worse. I am not the type of guy that sits around daydreaming about the wins, reality sets in pretty quick with the birth of our daughter. I am the kind of guy it was cool to win Martinsville and yeah it’s something to hang your hat on a bit, but two days after it’s all over and you are onto the next race. Nobody cares what you did yesterday, you know what I mean?

AE: This week you head back to Kansas, where you are the defending race winner. What’s on tap heading back?
JS: We got to do it again! Obviously we go to the race track every week with the intention of trying to sit on the pole and winning the race. I don’t see Kansas being any different, we got to go in there and put the effort forth and see what the weekend brings us.

AE: Is that a track you are “comfortable” with? I know some drivers have certain tracks they feel suits their style better than others.
JS: It just depends on the weekend. There are not a lot of racetracks that I don’t like or dread going into. I guess if I had to pick one of those places it would be Pocono and that really is pretty much the only one I don’t look forward to going to.

AE: I heard you also participated in a tire test at Texas this past week to prepare for the upcoming race. How did things look and did you maybe get some useful information to help you out?
JS: It was good, we had a brand new truck and we are there for Goodyear not our own personal benefits. The tires they brought were great, no wear issues so hopefully everybody will be happy with it when we go back to race. (The Truck Series returns to Texas Motor Speedway the second weekend of June.)

AE: I always heard that the information gained during a tire test can be useful in a race run?
JS: Yeah it absolutely has to. Obviously we are just a leg up on the little things: the splitter on the race track, tire rub and things that we got the bugs worked out. At the track we got a game plan.

AE: This has become my question I have been asking all the drivers thus far. How do you feel about Cup drivers coming to drive in the NCWTS?
JS: I don’t care either way because I know those guys are not unbeatable. I think it is good for the Truck Series and there is no rule against it so to sit here and ponder whether I like or don’t like it doesn’t really matter, I am not the one who makes the rules. It’s something we have to deal with. I rather focus my energy on making our program the best we can and if those guys show up, they show up.

AE: I was reading on your website that you race Late Models. Is that something you still do?
JS: I do it when my schedule permits. I build my own cars, brand new from ground up here at my shop so when I have the car ready to go I will go race. I don’t have a set schedule or anything like that. Last year I ran three races, this year who the hell knows, just whenever there is an off weekend and everything aligns in the schedules.

AE: I also read the section of your website that includes a quote from the "Rocky" movies. What makes you such a fan? This week’s quote was:

" Going one more round when you don't think you can, that's what makes all the difference in your life!”
Rocky Balboa
Rocky IV  (1985)

JS: It’s good stuff. I just think it’s a good story. The dude that is just living life then gets that opportunity and capitalizes on it. It’s not an everyday story. The guy that seems to be pretty normal, works hard and the fruits of his labor pay off. Reality sets back in, he loses everything and goes back to living a normal life. I mean what the heck is wrong with that, you know what I mean? The message is that money isn’t everything. And you know those were movies where they were no cussing, no sex, they were just great movies. That to me is appreciated.

In case you missed the tweets or do not follow Twitter, it was announced that Johnny will be driving the
No. 7 car for Robby Gordon in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas. The announcement said, "Weekend preview: Johnny Sauter is in the Cup #7 SPEED Energy Dodge at Kansas. FYI , Sauter is currently 2nd in the truck series points."

I would like to thank Johnny for his time in this interview and also his PR rep, Demi, who set everything up for me.

Amanda takes NASCAR seriously and is willing to pass up other activities to watch the boys have at it. NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two main focuses with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also frequently writes the post-race recaps for Skirts and Scuffs. Feel free to contact Amanda via Twitter.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Johnny Sauter Wins NCWTS Kroger 250 at Martinsville

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR

Johnny Sauter started from the pole position and pulled off an amazing pass on Kyle Busch with only two laps to go to win Saturday's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Sauter claimed his third win in the NCWTS and first ever win at Martinsville and is now leading the points in the Truck Series.

Sauter led the first 47 laps until Kyle Busch took the lead, but only for three laps. Sauter regained the lead for another 22 laps. He had a dominant truck; the only other team in comparison was Kyle Busch, who led three separate times for a total of 64 laps versus Sauter leading three times for a total of 71 laps.

The race was full of cautions and one red flag for a hard wreck with Jeffrey Earnhardt and James Buescher. Both drivers hit the wall hard; Earnhardt's truck did burst into flames, but thankfully both drivers climbed from their trucks uninjured. Chase Mattioli was also the cause of three of the 13 cautions of the day.

Here are the complete results:
  1. Johnny Sauter
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Ron Hornaday Jr.
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Timothy Peters
  6. Cole Whitt
  7. Austin Dillion
  8. Ricky Carmichael
  9. Brendan Gaughan
  10. Max Papis
  11. Matt Crafton
  12. Miguel Paludo
  13. Parker Kligerman
  14. Todd Bodine
  15. Brad Sweet
  16. Clay Rogers
  17. Joey Coulter
  18. Johanna Long
  19. Caleb Roark
  20. Travis Kvapil
  21. Justin Marks
  22. Jason White
  23. Matt Lofton
  24. Craig Goess Jr.
  25. Dusty Davis
  26. David Starr
  27. Norm Benning
  28. Chase Mattioli
  29. Shane Sieg
  30. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  31. Justin Johnson
  32. Justin Lofton
  33. Ryan Sieg
  34. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  35. James Buescher

Pole Report: Johnny Sauter's First Career Pole

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
 Johnny Sauter captured the pole for Martinsville’s Kroger 250 this afternoon. His speed of 95.836 gave him a time of 19.836. This is Sauter’s first career pole in the Camping World Truck Series and hopefully this will help him earn his first win. Following him was Cole Whitt, a rookie driver for Red Bull Racing. Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

6. James Buescher
7. Matt Crafton
8. Justin Lofton
9. Nelson Piquet Jr.
10. Ron Hornaday
11. Max Papis
12. Timothy Peters
13. Travis Kvapil
14. Clay Rogers
15. Todd Bodine
16. Craig Goess
17. Ryan Sieg
18. Brad Sweet
19. Dusty Davis
20. Ricky Carmichael
21. Johanna Long
22. Justin Marks
23. Joey Coulter
24. Shane Sieg
25. Matt Lofton
26. Justin Johnson
27. Miguel Paludo
28. Jeffrey Earnhardt
29. David Starr
30. Parker Kligerman
31. Brendan Gaughan
32. Caleb Roark
33. Norm Benning
34. Jason White
35. Chase Mattioli

Television schedule:
Kroger 250 at Martinsville at 2 PM on SPEED.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Whitney Richards' 2011 Championship Picks

Well, here we are with another season ready to start! After all the drama of last year, I’m ready to see how things play out this time around, especially with all the new rule changes being implemented for the 2011 season.

Last year, I made championship picks here on Skirts & Scuffs before the 2010 season started. In case you’ve forgotten who I picked, let me remind you. I had Kenseth as the Cup champion, Braun as Nationwide champion (Probably wasn’t the best idea to pick a rookie to win it, but hey, I had faith, but Braun just didn’t have the luck!), and Crafton as Truck champion. As you can see, I am terrible at predicting champions, but I'm going to try it again!

Sprint Cup Series: Matt Kenseth

Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
You read that right! I am once again picking Matt Kenseth to win the championship. Why? He proved once that consistency (even with just one win) can lead to a championship. Last season, he proved it can also lead to a decent finish in the points, even if he never really came close to winning the championship.

With six top-5 finishes, fifteen top-10 finishes, and no DNFs last season, Kenseth drove his No. 17 Ford to a 5th place finish in the 2010 standings. Sure, he didn’t win a single race, but just the fact he was fifth overall once the season ended says a lot. With the new points system in place, Kenseth and his team can definitely become championship contenders in 2011.

Nationwide Series: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

David Griffin/David Griffin Photography

Here I go again, picking a young driver to win the Nationwide Series title. Last year it didn’t work out so well, but here’s to hoping I get it right this time!

Stenhouse entered last season as a contender for the Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year. Despite the fact he did not run three races in 2010, he somehow made an impressive comeback and fought off a late season charge from Brian Scott to become yet another Roush Fenway Racing driver to earn top rookie honors. He earned three top-5 finishes, and eight top-10 finishes. His best race was undoubtedly the fall race at Texas Motor Speedway, during which he led an impressive 40 laps.

Last season, a new car was run in select Nationwide races, and the Daytona race in July was the first of those. Stenhouse had no problems adjusting to the new car, and went on to finish 3rd, earning his career-best finish.  For the other races the new car was run, he finished 13th (Michigan), 14th (Charlotte-fall), and 4th(Richmond-fall). For the 2011 season, the new car will be run every race. I see no reason why Stenhouse won’t be a front-runner this year since it seems he adjusted to the new car so quickly.

With the new rule that drivers can only pick one championship to run for, it seems the Nationwide regulars might finally break the streak of Cup drivers winning the championship. I look for the No. 6 Ford to be up front on many occasions in 2011. Many times last season, I heard spotter Mike Calinoff and crew chief Mike Kelley tell Stenhouse he “drove like a champion”, and this year, I truly believe he’ll not only drive like one, but he’ll become one.

Camping World Truck Series: Johnny Sauter

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
In 2009, Sauter won just one race (Vegas), finished 6th in the standings, and earned top rookie honors in the NCWTS with thirteen top-10 finishes and seven top-5’s. Just one year later, he won yet another race (Kansas) and was 3rd overall at the end of the 2010 season with sixteen top-10’s and fourteen top-5’s. Quite an impressive record for a driver who only has two full NCWTS seasons under his belt.

Last year, I had watched the NCWTS in hopes of finding a new favorite driver in that series since Colin Braun had moved to Nationwide. I watched maybe ¼ of the races last year. However, whenever I did watch, I found myself pulling for the No. 13 Chevrolet driven by Johnny Sauter. He seems like such an underdog, and I’m a big fan of underdogs.

I was watching the Martinsville race where Sauter and Ron Hornaday were bumping and banging fenders, and Sauter refused to back down. He won me over that race. I’ve always considered Hornaday to be a bit of a bully, and I was pleased to see Sauter hold his ground.

This year, if Sauter continues his impressive run in the NCWTS, he can make a run for the championship.

I can’t believe the end of the off season is finally in sight! I’d like to wish Kenseth, Stenhouse Jr., and Sauter the best of luck this season. I hope to see all three celebrating championships once the checkered flag flies at Homestead! Of course, I wish every driver in all three series the best of luck as well. It’s time to fasten those belts tight, and hold on for the ride! The 2011 season is shaping up to be one of the best ones yet!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sauter slips & sides to win at Kansas

By Jim Pedley 
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (May 2, 2010) -- What simply had to be the two best saves of the Camping World Truck Series season occurred at exactly the same time and within inches of each other Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway.

When the two trucks involved finally got pointed back in the proper direction, it was the one driven by Johnny Sauter that had the lead and would go on to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250.
KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 02:  during for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 on May 2, 2010 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)Johnny Sauter celebrates his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck
Series victory on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. (Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)
The other truck involved, that of Ron Hornaday Jr., finished second but left its driver buzzing like a radio with a bad tube.

“You can’t tell me that Kansas didn’t like that one,” Hornaday, not generally known to be all that excited about a second-place finish, shouted as he entered the postrace interview room.

Sauter, wearing a very large and sticky smear of birthday cake on his fire suit, was equally excited. As well he should be.

“I bet it looked pretty cool on TV,” said Sauter, who turned 32 on Saturday.

With 13 laps to go, Sauter had the lead heading down the backstretch, but Hornaday pulled even on his low side. Hornaday’s truck suddenly hooked right—right into Sauter. Both spun simultaneously. With smoke pouring from the wheel wells of both trucks, they turned 60 degrees sideways.
Truck Kansas Sauter Hornaday slide Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33) makes contact with Johnny Sauter and
both slide in Turn 4 with 10 laps to go. (Rick Dole / Getty Images)
The two drivers, who have a history of roughing each other up on the track and in the pits afterward, cranked the steering wheels and both executed highlight-clip saves.

“He got into me,” Sauter said. “I couldn’t help but sit there and think as I was trying to save it … that darn Hornaday got me again within a month’s time. But it all worked out. That was good. That was good for the fans.”

The victory was the first of the year for Sauter and moved him from 14th to fifth in the points standings.
Sauter said he felt good about his truck before it even arrived at Kansas. It was the same truck he used to win his first truck race last September in Las Vegas and finish 11th at Nashville the last time out.
Truck Kansas rain & hail Rain and hail caused a 1 hour, 30 minute delay in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250
at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. (Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)
Todd Bodine finished third and moved into second in the standings, 22 points behind Timothy Peters, who finished 23rd, six laps back.

Notes: Brian Ickler finished fourth and now has two top-five finishes in both of his starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports. … Rookie Austin Dillon had his best finish, sixth. … The race was stopped after 114 laps for more than 90 minutes by rain and hail.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 results:
1. Johnny Sauter
2. Ron Hornaday   
3. Todd Bodine    
4. Brian Ickler    
5. Johnny Benson    
6. Austin Dillon*    
7. Aric Almirola    
8. Mike Skinner    
9. Ken Schrader    
10. David Starr    
11. Jason White    
12. Ricky Carmichael    
13. Justin Lofton*    
14. Jack Smith     Ford   
15. Tony Jackson Jr.    
16. James Buescher    
17. Mario Gosselin        
18. Terry Jones    
19. Ryan Sieg    
20. Jamie Dick
21. Brent Raymer    
22. Tayler Malsam    
23. Timothy Peters    
24. Norm Benning    
25. Matt Crafton
26. Brett Butler*
27. Carl Long        
28. Jennifer Jo Cobb*    
29. Jesse Smith    
30. Chris Eggleston*    
31. Rick Crawford    
32. Brian Rose    
33. Mike Harmon    
34. Shane Sieg    
35. Wes Burton    
36. Narain Karthikeyan