Leading the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) field twice for 13 laps in Saturday night's Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra fought through adversity to leave "Sin City" with a top-15 finish.
Looking to gain track position early on in the event, crew chief Doug George called Sauter down pit road during the first caution of the night, on lap 15, for fuel only. Taking advantage of the unique strategy, Sauter took the lead for the first time at lap 31, leading the field for six laps before the second caution flag was displayed on lap 38 for fluid on the backstretch. George made the call to bring the No. 98 machine back down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment, while other teams elected to take fuel only.
Racing hard alongside the No. 8 machine, in an effort to regain lost track position, Sauter would spin out in Turn 2, sustaining significant right rear damage to his Nextant Aerospace Tundra. The Wisconsin native came down pit road twice, under caution, for four fresh tires and to repair damage sustained to the No. 98 machine. Restarting deep within the field, Sauter didn't back down, and quickly drove his way through traffic, scored within the top-10 just a few laps later, and remained in contention among the leaders.
With green-flag pit stops commencing, the ThorSport Racing driver was able to regain the lead at lap 93, until giving up once again to come down pit road for a scheduled stop at lap 98. Still fighting an, "extremely loose" Toyota Tundra, George made the call for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment to help the veteran drive through the corners better.
However, due to the significant damage sustained to the No. 98 machine, Sauter would continue to fight a loose Toyota Tundra, and ultimately go a lap down to the race leaders. The ThorSport Racing driver would eventually cross the stripe in the 12th position behind race winner, John Wes Townley.