Johnny Sauter, after posting first and fourth fastest practice laps, came back from adversity to power home in a lead-lap finish in 13th position, when over half the field was out of the race due to accidents or incidents; in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series No. 13 Safe Auto/U Coat It/Curb Chevy Silverado. After strong practice sessions, Sauter placed 14th out of 33 on the grid for qualifiying.
Under shaky weather conditions Saturday in the Irish Hills, Sauter wheeled up to 6th position in six laps, when an early lap six caution came out. Two more cautions within the first twenty laps brought some smart decision making on the pit box - staying out when field trucks pit. Sauter drafted with the 2 truck into fourth position during green flag racing. The team pit on lap 38 and took four tires and fuel with no adjustments - with Sauter moving from 20th as he re-entered the field all the way to third within 10 laps.
On lap 74, Sauter came too close for comfort to the 17 truck out of turn four and took a spin into the infield pit wall - bringing him down pit road for major corrections by the crew. Through expert calls by Joe Shear, Jr over the next 14 laps to the end, the crew was able to quickly Bondo the nose, beat fenders back into place, change tires and make trackbar adjustments to get Sauter back to a lead lap finish as the field continued to dissolve during a series of cautions.
Coming back out with three to go, Sauter held position and rallied to finish 13th at the checkers, as many points contenders worked on their trucks behind the wall, their days done.
"We had such a fast truck in practice on Friday, and we were really happy with our setup package. Unfortunately, we didn't start where we wanted to on the grid, but that was easy to overcome. It's unfortunate we had the spin, but we salvaged a lead lap finish with a truck we really had to nurse across the finish line - and that's thanks to all the hard work by my crew. To overcome everything the ThorSport Racing boys did this weekend was awesome, especially being tired after a big Grand Opening Week in Sandusky. The boys hustled all weekend, with the change, the rain, all the calls we made today - they are the reason we rally. Thanks to Joe and my boys on the 13."
He regains the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship points leader going into Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 24th.
"We're proud to have such a great week of support from the Sandusky and Northern Ohio community - we had almost 8,000 people come to the Grand Opening on Wednesday, and it was unreal to watch. So much support that we never knew. That gives us a lot of momentum moving forward. Special thanks to the Dunn family on being our special guests - family of fallen Sandusky Police Officer Andy Dunn - and MIS Cares Winner Gloria Faucke."