Johnny Sauter battles the Kentucky elements to bring home a Top-15 finish

Weather threw a wrench in Thursday's initial schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, washing out both practice and qualifying for the scheduled 150-lap event. NASCAR was forced to line-up the 31-truck field based on the rule book (2015 owner points standings) and Johnny Sauter, driver of the No 98 Nextant Aerospace Toyota Tundra, would start from the fifth position. 

 

Coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment during the competition caution on lap 22, crew chief Doug George tried to help the ThorSport Racing driver with a "tight" Toyota Tundra. However, trying to play the pit strategy card early on, when the third caution flag was waved on lap 45, George made the call for just two tires and fuel, propelling Sauter to a third-place position for the lap 48 restart. Unfortunately, two tires upset the balance of the No. 98 machine, miring the veteran driver deeper within the field. 

 

Making two more pit stops on laps 97 and 127, respectively, for four tires, fuel and major trackbar adjustments, Sauter found himself in prime position for a solid finish for the final 10 lap shootout. However, the originally scheduled 150-lap race was wreck-shortened to 145 laps when Ben Kennedy's Toyota Tundra damaged the catchfence and NASCAR was forced to call the race five laps short of its scheduled distance. Sauter would settle for a 12th-place finish in his ninth start at the 1.5-mile track. 

 

Quote:

"I really can't complain about tonight's race, especially for the circumstances we were under. With rain canceling all on-track activity today, we had no idea what to expect. Our Nextant Aerospace Toyota Tundra was good all night, the handling just got away from us when we took two tires on an earlier stop. We definitely had a fast truck at the end and were capable of going home with a top-10 finish, but the cautions didn't fly in our favor and that's how it goes sometimes. I'm happy with the result and look forward to Eldora in a couple weeks."

Thorsport PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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