Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, set out seeking a Talladega repeat in Saturday afternoon's ninth annual fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. As the defending race winner, the ThorSport Racing driver was optimistic to make up a 19 point deficit on teammate and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point leader, Matt Crafton, in an effort to claim his first series title. Unfortunately, debris from an earlier accident punctured a hole in the radiator and drained Sauter of a solid finish.
Starting a career-best fourth at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Sauter maintained his position inside the top-five, running the top line in the opening laps, before being shuffled back to 14th in the running order by lap four. As the Necedah, Wisc. native started making his way back through the field, the "Big One" took out five trucks with Sauter barely escaping the melee. Crew chief Jeff Hensley brought the No. 98 Tundra to pit road under caution at lap 13 for fuel only and when racing resumed on lap 18, Sauter was scored seventh.
Running sixth on lap 24, the No. 98 Tundra slowed on the backstretch and Sauter was forced to bring his Tundra to pit road and eventually the garage for a punctured radiator. The ThorSport Racing driver would be credited with a 31st-place finish, 70 laps down to race winner, Timothy Peters.