GMS Racing NCWTS Dover Recap
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado
Points: 1st (+51)
Stage One: Following a second-place qualifying effort, the best Dover start of Sauter’s NCWTS career, the No. 21 started the 200-lap race in the bottom line, falling back to fourth before finding an opening up top. The Necedah, Wis., native fought a lack of rear grip in Stage One, though the handling began to improve as the track began to tighten-up as the race neared Lap 45. Finishing fourth in Stage One, Sauter pitted his Allegiant Chevrolet for four tires, fuel and both air pressure and chassis adjustments. The No. 21 pit crew once again showed their strength, moving Sauter into second for the start of Stage Two.
Stage Two: Six laps into Stage Two, Sauter took over the lead for the first time. Still lacking rear grip, Sauter led until the caution was brought out on lap 90, effectively signaling the end of the second stage. Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., brought Sauter to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of air pressure and chassis adjustments. Another fast stop saw Sauter as the first truck off pit road for the start of the Final Stage.
Final Stage: Back to green on Lap 98, Sauter once again pulled out to a steady lead until lapped traffic held him up on Lap 121. The Allegiant Chevrolet was still the faster truck and Sauter reclaimed the top position just three laps later. With one stop left in the race, the No. 21 team caught a break when caution occurred on lap 157, allowing the team to pit under yellow. With four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Sauter started from the lead once again. Within 20 laps of the checkered flag, Sauter and the No. 18 truck began to battle for the lead with the two trading first and second place as the race drew to a close. As the white flag was shown, contact was made as Sauter had a run in the Allegiant Chevy, resulting in the No. 18 spinning and bringing out caution to set up NASCAR Overtime. Sauter held off the No. 88 and teammate Justin Haley in the No. 24 to claim his second win of the 2018 season and his second win at Dover.
- For the fifth time in 2018, Sauter claimed a top-10 starting spot and his career-best Dover start (2nd) on Friday afternoon.
- Sauter’s win at Dover is the first time Chevrolet has won back-to-back NCWTS races at the Delaware track.
- Sauter became only the second driver to win multiple NCWTS races at Dover.
- Five races in to the 2018 season, Sauter leads the NCWTS point standings by 51 points over Ben Rhodes.
Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet
“What a ride, first and foremost. It’s not every day you get a truck like that, so when you have a brand like Chevrolet and partners like Allegiant, Sunseeker resorts, GMS Fabrication, and JEGS; all of the people that help GMS Racing out, I couldn’t be more proud to win in the fashion we did.”
“We were so fast on the long run. I couldn’t be more proud of the 21 guys and the pit crew today. That was just an awesome race. This is such a cool place to race at. When you can tame this place you feel like you’ve done something. So two years in a row, back to back wins, much faster truck this year than last year…I’m pumped! I turned 40 this week and to have an opportunity to drive stuff like this - not many guys get this opportunity and I just want the Gallagher family and Mike Beam to know I appreciate this.”
Joe Shear, Jr., crew chief of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet
We stole a win last year and we worked pretty hard coming back here because we didn’t want to do that again. We worked really hard on our setup to come back here and be good. We feel like we accomplished what we needed to. Everyone at GMS and GMS Fabrication worked really hard and we had a dominating truck here. It was good all night, all week. I was proud of the guys and how it handled and I was proud of how Johnny handled everything. it went pretty smooth.
Mike Beam, GMS Racing President
“We’ve had a hard week so this win was good. Joe and Johnny, and the whole 21 team, they executed really well. To have two wins, now we can really go to work and get ready for The Playoffs. But Joe and Johnny, they’re a real blessing to us and we’re proud to have them. Johnny is such a team player, and Joe is, too. They’re the senior team, the leaders, so I feel like we can always count on them. We brought Johnny to GMS to be the leader and he’s done that.”
No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Starting a track-best fourth for the JEGS 200, Haley quickly grabbed the second position at the start, and was closing in on the leader when the caution came out on lap three. Happy with his No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Silverado, Haley ran the remainder of Stage One patiently in the third position, trying to preserve his equipment. Crew Chief Kevin Bellicourt called Haley down pit road for four tires, fuel and tape on the grille, lining the No. 24 up third for Stage Two.
Stage Two: Still remaining patient, Haley maintained his position in third until making this pass for second with five laps remaining in Stage Two. He reported that his Chevy was “good in turns one and two but a bit loose in three and four.” Coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment during the stage break, Haley maintained his track position, starting Stage Three in second.
Final Stage: With a long green flag run to open up the final stage, the handling of Haley’s No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevy began to swing to the loose side. Within a few laps of having to make green flag pit stops, the caution came out on lap 157, allowing Haley to come to pit road for four tires, one can of fuel and an air pressure adjustment. However, a lengthy stop had Haley restarting fifth with 38 laps remaining. With two more cautions occurring before the end of the race, including one attempt at overtime, Haley was able to work his way back to a third-place finish in the JEGS 200.
- Haley’s fourth-place qualifying effort and third-place finish Friday mark his best NCWTS showing at Dover International Speedway.
- Haley has finished in the top-10 in both of his NCWTS starts at the “Monster Mile.”
- With his top-three finish at Dover, Haley is now seventh in the NCWTS driver point standings.
“We had a really solid weekend. We ran in the top-five all day and it’s probably the best race we’ve ever had with the No. 24 guys. I was really hoping that (Matt) Crafton and Johnny (Sauter) would move up there at the end and I could slide by for my first win, but it didn’t work out that way."
“I think we’re one of the more overlooked teams in the garage. We’ve had really bad luck. We’re usually fast, but this weekend we were just really competitive the entire time. We were running up front on that last caution where we all came down pit road and just had a pit stop that cost us too many spots. The rest of the cautions just kind of fell our way and we could work our way back to the front. I’m thankful though that the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles team and GMS Fabrication built me a fast truck. We have a win in sight.”
No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Rolling off 18th for the JEGS 200 Friday afternoon, Coughlin’s plan was to pick up as much track position as he could before the end of Stage One. Coughlin quickly jumped into the top-15 at the start and continued to run there throughout the majority of the stage. However, as a long-green flag run ensued, Coughlin’s No. 2 JEGS.com Chevy became too loose everywhere, but he was able to hold on to finish Stage One in the 17th position. Crew Chief Jerry Baxter called Coughlin down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a round of chassis adjustments to help tighten up the No. 2, lining him up 16th for the start of Stage Two.
Stage Two: With the handling of his Chevrolet Silverado moving in the right direction, Coughlin moved his way into 13th at the start of Stage Two. Continuing to fight a loose No. 2 on entry and exit, but now tight in the center of the corners, Coughlin made his way into 12th before the stage concluded. Coughlin came to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments, however an uncontrolled tire penalty during the pit stop forced Coughlin to restart at the tail end of the field for Stage Three.
Final Stage: Scored 16th for the restart on lap 98, a long green-flag run ensued allowing Coughlin to work his way through traffic and back into the top-15. Running some of his best laps of the race, Coughlin worked his way into the 12th position but relayed to Baxter that his No. 2 JEGS.com Chevy was still “free in, tight center.” However, with the long green-flag run, Coughlin ultimately went one lap down on lap 148. With the caution coming out on lap 157, unfortunately Coughlin was not in the position to get his lap back, but was able to come to pit road for four tires, fuel and additional adjustments. On the restart, Coughlin quickly positioned himself in 11th, the first truck one lap down, and continued to hold that position until the caution came out on lap 182. Back on the lead lap, Coughlin restarted ninth with 13 laps remaining. A late race caution though lined the field up for a two-lap shootout to the finish, with Coughlin crossing the finish line in sixth-place, his best finish at Dover International Speedway.
- Coughlin’s sixth-place finish is his best finish at the “Monster Mile” as well as his best NCWTS finish of the 2018 season.
- After this weekend’s race at Dover, Coughlin is now 11th in the NCWTS driver point standings.
“I am really pleased with the outcome of the JEGS 200 tonight. We fought hard and overcame some adversity to have a great sixth-place finish. Our No. 2 JEGS.com team, led by Jerry (Baxter, crew chief),hung-in there, and together we finished strong. We have great momentum building as we go to Kansas and I’m looking forward to the weeks to come. “It was also great having the JEGS employees and fans at the track to support. I needed to give them a good result.”
No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet Silverado
Stage One: Sargeant started from the 11th position in the No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet in his first NCWTS start at Dover, quickly moving into the top-10 as the first caution of the day occurred on lap three. As the end of Stage One neared, he began to experience a free-on-entry handling condition and pitted at the break for four tires, fuel and adjustments to tighten him up for the next stage. He rejoined the field in the 10th position for the start of Stage Two.
Stage Two: Once again having a good run in the top-10, Sargeant battled the same loose-handling condition. Telling the team the previous adjustments had been somewhat of an improvement, Buddy Sisco called for several adjustments in addition to four tires and fuel, to set up the Performance Plus Chevrolet for a longer run. An extended stop for adjustments placed Sargeant 14th for the start of the final stage.
Final Stage: With a long green flag run to start the final stage of racing at Dover, Sargeant reported he was struggling through the center. Eventually going down a lap to the leader, Sargeant focused on trying different lines to find more speed and work through the handling woes. Advancing closer to the top-10 after pitting under caution on lap 158, the next caution setting up overtime allowed Sargeant to pit for new tires as the lead lap trucks stayed on track. He restarted in 13th and held that position for the final two laps to earn a top-15 finish in his first start at Dover.
- With a 13th-place finish at Dover, Sargeant has finished no worse than 15th in the first five races of 2018. This is his first full-time season in the NCWTS.
- Sargeant is ninth in the NCWTS point standings and second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, just three points behind Myatt Snider.
“This was not the day we expected to have, but Dover is a tricky place and we were able to bring the Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevy back in one piece in the end. We struggled with the handling throughout the whole race, but I had a chance to try a few different things to find more speed toward the end, so we can chalk it up to a good learning experience as we move on to Kansas.”
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