Sauter triumphs at Daytona, gives Toyota 100th Truck Series win

Wrecked a year ago while leading late in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Johnny Sauter found redemption Friday night at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in winning the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250.

Sauter collected the seventh victory of his NCWTS career under caution, thanks to a timely accident that froze the field after he had taken the white flag. Kyle Busch ran second, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr., Justin Lofton and Jeb Burton.

The win was the 100th in the Truck Series for Toyota, which began competition in the series in 2004.

Aside from Scott Riggs’ blown engine — the cause of the first caution on Lap 26 — the race was a model of decorum until Lap 54, when Brendan Gaughan tried to put his truck into a gap that closed before he completed the move.

The result was a 14-truck melee that sidelined Gaughan, polesitter Brennan Newberry, Bryan Silas and Chris Fontaine.

A subsequent caution called after Jason White’s Chevrolet smacked the outside wall, gave the field a chance to pit for fuel, ensuring that all trucks could make it to the end of the scheduled 250 miles without refueling.

Sauter was leading the pack with eight laps left when Ryan Truex’s Chevrolet was hung in the middle lane and began falling back through the field. Truex lost control and triggered a five-truck wreck that wiped out the Toyota of Timothy Peters.

That set up a five-lap shootout with Sauter and Todd Bodine coming to the green side by side. Bodine lost ground on the restart, ceding the second spot to Busch, who trailed Sauter as the top 12 trucks in the running order ran single-file on the bottom of the track.

Moments after Sauter took the white flag, an accident caused the sixth caution of the race, and Sauter took the checkered flag under caution.