Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado, returned to the site of his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win looking to turn around his luck in the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs. Sauter was one of the fastest trucks in both practice sessions for Saturday night’s Las Vegas 350, finishing first in the first session and fourth in the final session.
The Necedah, Wis., native just missed earning his first pole of the season, but for the sixth time this year started from the front row for the 146-lap race. The Allegiant Chevrolet became loose toward the end of the first 35-lap stage and lacked front grip. Sauter ended Stage One in the second position and pitted for four tires, fuel, and a chassis and air pressure adjustment, before lining up to start Stage Two from the fourth position.
As the field took the green flag for the second stage on lap 42, the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet was hit from behind on a restart forcing him into the No. 24 truck on the inside. Sauter’s truck received heavy damage forcing him to pit twice for repair work and tires. Despite the damage, Sauter returned to the track and regained his position within the top-10 with less than 10 laps left in the stage. He finished Stage Two in the ninth position reporting that the No. 21 still had speed but shifted from loose to tight throughout the previous run.
Sauter continued to run in the top-10 until a flat tire forced him to pit under green, followed by a pit road speeding penalty that put him three laps down. The Allegiant Chevrolet was still one of the fastest trucks in the race, allowing Sauter to stay ahead of the leaders and not lose anymore track position. As the frontrunners began to pit in the closing laps for fuel, Sauter stayed out regaining two of his laps and track position to finish 10th, just one lap down.
“Our Allegiant Chevrolet had tons of speed today, this should have been a win or at least a top five finish, but unfortunately a lot of times it’s the actions of others that ruin your race. The No. 21 team did a great job keeping up in the second half of the race, it just seemed like the hits kept coming. We’ve got Talladega up next which will give us another good shot at a win and set us up strong for these last five races.”
- Sauter is fourth in the Driver Championship Playoff standings, 24 points ahead of the cutoff line.
GMS Racing PR