Johnny Sauter and the No. 21 Allegiant team qualified in the seventh position for the Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway, but dropped to the back of the field at the start of the race due to unapproved changes. By lap six, Sauter was running in the 13th position and battling a tight-on-entry handling condition. Despite the tight condition he had no issue passing other trucks and worked his way up to the 11th position by the end of stage one.
Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., brought his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help the tight condition that had started to affect his corner exit. He restarted from the 17th position on lap 20 and drove back to just outside the top 10 before pitting early under green on lap 27 for right side tires and fuel.
Staying out under caution as the second stage ended, Sauter took over the race lead and remained up front until the last caution and restart of the day on lap 44. He reported to the Allegiant team this his Chevrolet had gotten too tight as he dropped back to the fifth position in the final 16 laps.
Sauter crossed the stripe in fifth for his eighth top-five finish of the season.
“We had a really fast Allegiant Chevrolet this weekend. Pocono is a place I’ve always struggled but I feel like we had it figured out today, we were just too tight there at the end and I didn’t have the speed I needed to hold on to the lead. I’d feel more comfortable as we inch closer to the playoffs if we had another win, but this team has been doing an amazing job and I feel like we’re making improvements and learning all we need to for these final 11 races.”
- Sauter is second in the driver championship point standings with one win and 10 playoff points.
- 2017 stats at halfway in the season: 1 win, 8 top-fives, 10 top-10s
GMS Racing PR