Sauter lassos a top five finish in Texas
The ThorSport Racing driver proved he was going to be a cowboy to "outduel" in the Lone Star State on Thursday afternoon, following two NCWTS practice sessions. Sauter, who swept both TMS races in 2012, led a majority of the series' first session on Thursday afternoon, but ended up second on the speed charts, and was fourth overall in the series final practice session on Thursday night.
Starting fourth, his season-best start, Sauter ran as high as first, and as low as 13th but had an average running position of 6.1 throughout the 167-lap event in the Lone Star State. Crew chief Doug George brought the No. 98 Toyota Tundra to pit road under caution at lap 21, and under green at laps 73 and 123, respectively, for four tires, fuel and adjustments to aid in a "tight" handling Nextant Aerospace Toyota Tundra.
Following the final green-flag pit stop of the night, Sauter never fell outside the top-five in the running order, and was positioned perfectly, in third, for the final restart of the night, with two laps remaining. Restarting on the inside of row two, Sauter's "plowing" Tundra forced him to fall to fourth on the final lap as he watched teammate, Matt Crafton take home the checkered flag. The top-five result was Sauter's third top-five of the season and his sixth at TMS.
Sauter remains fourth in the NCWTS driver point standings, 48 points behind teammate and leader, Matt Crafton.
"This is light years from where we've been all year. I'm proud of everyone at ThorSport Racing. This was a true team effort. Our Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra had good speed all weekend, and that was encouraging, especially at a place I enjoy racing at, and I've had success at. The track went through a big transition from day time, to night, and we did a good job staying on top of our adjustments throughout the race, and we were in contention at the end. We just got off on the last adjustment and the truck was plowing. Having said all that, a top-five finish was a step in the right direction for this team. We'll take it and move on to Gateway next week."
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