Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 ISM Connect Chevrolet Silverado, started from the third position for Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The first 55-lap stage went green, with Sauter reporting that the truck started off too tight but became free on entry throughout the run. He pitted at the stage break from the fifth position for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, restarting from the seventh position as a handful of trucks only took two tires.
On lap 65, as stage two was just getting underway, the No. 18 truck spun in front of Sauter and made contact with the right side of the No. 21. Despite heavy damage, Joe Shear, Jr., called for Sauter to remain on track after making sure there was no tire rub. The damage sustained affected the handling of the ISM Chevy with the driver asking for more drive late in the second stage as he maintained his position within the top 10. As the green and white checkered waved to complete the second stage, Sauter pitted for four tires, fuel, a chassis adjustment and repair work for the No. 21. He returned to the track in the 14th position.
Sauter worked his way back into the top 10 within the first 10 laps of the final stage, reporting under caution on lap 128 that he was way too tight, but staying on track to maintain position. The race resumed on lap 131 and stayed green until the end, with Sauter finishing ninth and bringing home his seventh consecutive top-10 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“Today it just seemed like we couldn’t catch a break. We ended up qualifying better than we expected and had a lot of speed, but we had so much damage from the 18 truck and that set us pretty far back on handling early in the race. The 21 team did a great job fixing the truck up to where it drove decent at the end and we were able to come out with a top 10 and not take ourselves out of the running for a title.”
- Sauter is second in the Driver Championship Playoff standings, 40 points behind leader Christopher Bell.
- Sauter’s 9th-place finish was his seventh top-10 finish in seven starts at NHMS.
GMS Racing PR