Sunday, Sep 24

Vegas proves to be a bust for Sauter

Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, was optimistic entering the 17th race on the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule. Taking on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), the sight of his first NCWTS win in 2009 and a track where the ThorSport Racing driver had four top-five finishes in five previous starts, Sauter's odds were favorable that he could make-up a seven point deficit on teammate and point leader Matt Crafton. Unfortunately, a 16th-place starting position foreshadowed a 14th-place finish in Saturday night's Rhino Linings 350 at LVMS. The result leaves Sauter second in points, 19 markers behind first-place in the NCWTS driver point battle.

Sauter was forced to start from the 16th position in the 146-lap event when his Tundra didn't make it around the 1.5-mile oval to take the green flag before the 10 minute clock timed out in Round 2 of knockout pole qualifying on Saturday afternoon. As the No. 98 machine was making his way around the famed track in the final moments of the second round, the No. 05 machine spun in Turn 4, bringing out the red flag before the No. 98 could cross the stripe, resulting in a 16th-place starting position for the 18th annual event.


Showing speed and determination in the opening laps, Sauter was scored in the eighth position when the first caution flag was displayed on lap three for a spin in Turn 4. The ThorSport Racing driver continued to maintain a position inside the top-10 complaining that his Tundra was "tight but freeing up a little bit," as the run progressed. Crew chief Jeff Hensley brought the Necedah, Wisc. native to pit road twice under caution for scheduled stops at laps 32 and 57, respectively, for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.


As the night progressed, Sauter fell as far back as 18th in the running order and continued to complain that his Tundra was "sideways loose." Hensley brought the No. 98 machine to pit road for a final scheduled stop under green at lap 110 for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. Sauter would make the best of his Tundra in the final 35 laps to cross the stripe in the 14th position behind race winner, Erik Jones.


Thorsport PR


No right click

Please link the article.