MARTINSVILLE, Va -- Johnny Sauter was able to hold off Chase Elliott in the Texas Roadhouse 200 to win his second race of 2016 and to clinch his spot into the championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is the second win in a row for GMS Racing.
“I felt like we had a really good car yesterday in practice. We didn’t necessarily focus on having a fast truck on short runs, but we focused on long runs. Proud of everyone at GMS. To be able to come here a place that has been kind to us over the year to get a win here was extra special,” says Sauter.
“We had a really strong truck,” said Elliott. “I was really glad we were able to run today. I hope it helps for tomorrow although it is a little bit different. It was good to get some laps and get better at this place.
The first half of the race started Elliott leading the field to green and set pace at the start. The field went quickly from three-wide racing to single file. As Elliott hit lapped traffic, he was passed by Cole Custer and Johnny Sauter. Sauter attempted to take the lead from Custer, but lapped traffic continued to hold him back. Sauter was able to take the lead once lapped traffic was passed. As the race progressed through the first half, drivers were bouncing off the curbs. Custer was able to catch back up to Sauter after battling through lapped traffic. However, the caution flew spins in turns one and two by Josh White and Kyle Donahue, who are making their first starts in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. Elliott was able to regain the lead after pit stops. On the restart, Elliott, Custer, and Sauter were able to but some distance on the field. However, Elliott was able build a lead over the field. Elliott was the leader, Custer was second, Sauter was third, Suarez was fourth, and Crafton rounded out the top-five.
The second half of the race continued, but the caution flew for Spencer Gallagher who was up against the wall in turn two due to a tire going down. On the restart, Elliott led the field to green and was able to keep the lead. Many drivers were complaining about their brakes. Elliott was able to put some distance between him and Custer when the race restarted. However, the caution flew for a spin by Tommy Joe Martins. As the caution flew, Matt Crafton was having left rear tire issues and was reporting no brakes. As the leader’s hits pit road, strategy was being played. Daniel Hemric stayed out and restarted the race as the leader. John Hunter Nemechek only took two tires on his pit stop. Crafton made his way to pit road, and went one lap down as he sat on pit road with his hood up. Nemechek was able to pass Hemric, but had Elliott on his back bumper. However, the caution flew for a spin by Harrison Burton in turn one. On the restart, Nemechek was able to get a jump on the field, but Sauter and Elliott were battling it out for second. Sauter was able to take the position from Elliott. As Sauter took the lead, the caution flew for an accident between John Wes Townley, Ben Kennedy. Ben Rhodes, and Matt Tifft. When the race restarted, Elliott and Sauter were the lone two drivers battling for the lead. However, time ran out for Elliott as Sauter took the checkered flag. Elliott finished second, Nemechek finished third, Christopher Bell finished fourth, and Timothy Peters rounded out the top-five.
The caution flew a total of five times for 33 laps. The avarage speed of the race was 73.839 mph. The time of the race was 1 hour, 25 minutes, and 36 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.316 mph. Three drivers were listed as out of the race. There were six lead changes five drivers. Elliott led the most laps at 109, Sauter led 50 laps, Nemechek led 18 laps, Custer led 17 laps, and Hemric led six laps.
The Chase in the Camping World Truck Series has Crafton and Kennedy as the drivers who are out after their issues during the race. Crafton is nine points away from the cutoff and Kennedy is ten points away from the cutoff. Of those in the top-four, Sauter holds a seven-point lead over Bell, Peters is eight points back, and William Byron is 11 points out.
Next up for the Camping World Truck Series is the Striping Technology 350 from Texas Motor Speedway. The race will kick-off a triple header weekend beginning on November 4th at 8:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.