Sauter settles the score in Michigan, winning the Careers for Veterans 200
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rolled into the Irish Hills of Michigan for the 12th stop on the 2014 schedule at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday. Johnny Sauter, who was paired with veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley for the first time this season, turned a track-best qualifying effort into his first win at the 2-mile oval, winning the 15th annual Careers for Veterans 200. The win marks the ThorSport Racing driver's first NCWTS victory of 2014 and his 10th career victory in 142 NCWTS starts.
Starting fifth, the Necedah, Wisc. native made his first stop of the afternoon on lap 12, under the event's only caution, for fuel and a chassis adjustment to help a "tight on exit" handling condition. When racing resumed on lap 14, the Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra was scored eighth. Early in the ensuing run, Sauter complained of a tight Toyota Tundra, but managed to work his way up to the fourth position before making a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 51 for four tires and fuel. The No. 98 Tundra returned to the racing surface in the third position and proved that his No. 98 machine was strong when he took over the top spot on lap 76.
In pure Michigan style, the 100-lap event would come down to fuel mileage, and with a pit strategy call by Hensley, Sauter would be in the thick of the hunt with teammate Matt Crafton. Sauter led 16 laps before being forced down pit road for three seconds of fuel, relinquishing the lead to Crafton on lap 92. Crafton, who had a 31 second lead on Sauter, eventually had to give up the lead four laps later for a splash-and-go. As the No. 88 exited pit road, Sauter passed him on the race track in the exit of Turn 2 and never looked back, crossing the finish line with a .43 second margin of victory.
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