MARTINSVILLE, Va -- Johnny Sauter was able to hold off Chase Elliott in the Texas Roadhouse 200 to win his second race of 2016 and to clinch his spot into the championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This is the second win in a row for GMS Racing.
“I felt like we had a really good car yesterday in practice. We didn’t necessarily focus on having a fast truck on short runs, but we focused on long runs. Proud of everyone at GMS. To be able to come here a place that has been kind to us over the year to get a win here was extra special,” says Sauter.
“We had a really strong truck,” said Elliott. “I was really glad we were able to run today. I hope it helps for tomorrow although it is a little bit different. It was good to get some laps and get better at this place.
The first half of the race started Elliott leading the field to green and set pace at the start. The field went quickly from three-wide racing to single file. As Elliott hit lapped traffic, he was passed by Cole Custer and Johnny Sauter. Sauter attempted to take the lead from Custer, but lapped traffic continued to hold him back. Sauter was able to take the lead once lapped traffic was passed. As the race progressed through the first half, drivers were bouncing off the curbs. Custer was able to catch back up to Sauter after battling through lapped traffic. However, the caution flew spins in turns one and two by Josh White and Kyle Donahue, who are making their first starts in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. Elliott was able to regain the lead after pit stops. On the restart, Elliott, Custer, and Sauter were able to but some distance on the field. However, Elliott was able build a lead over the field. Elliott was the leader, Custer was second, Sauter was third, Suarez was fourth, and Crafton rounded out the top-five.
The second half of the race continued, but the caution flew for Spencer Gallagher who was up against the wall in turn two due to a tire going down. On the restart, Elliott led the field to green and was able to keep the lead. Many drivers were complaining about their brakes. Elliott was able to put some distance between him and Custer when the race restarted. However, the caution flew for a spin by Tommy Joe Martins. As the caution flew, Matt Crafton was having left rear tire issues and was reporting no brakes. As the leader’s hits pit road, strategy was being played. Daniel Hemric stayed out and restarted the race as the leader. John Hunter Nemechek only took two tires on his pit stop. Crafton made his way to pit road, and went one lap down as he sat on pit road with his hood up. Nemechek was able to pass Hemric, but had Elliott on his back bumper. However, the caution flew for a spin by Harrison Burton in turn one. On the restart, Nemechek was able to get a jump on the field, but Sauter and Elliott were battling it out for second. Sauter was able to take the position from Elliott. As Sauter took the lead, the caution flew for an accident between John Wes Townley, Ben Kennedy. Ben Rhodes, and Matt Tifft. When the race restarted, Elliott and Sauter were the lone two drivers battling for the lead. However, time ran out for Elliott as Sauter took the checkered flag. Elliott finished second, Nemechek finished third, Christopher Bell finished fourth, and Timothy Peters rounded out the top-five.
The caution flew a total of five times for 33 laps. The avarage speed of the race was 73.839 mph. The time of the race was 1 hour, 25 minutes, and 36 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.316 mph. Three drivers were listed as out of the race. There were six lead changes five drivers. Elliott led the most laps at 109, Sauter led 50 laps, Nemechek led 18 laps, Custer led 17 laps, and Hemric led six laps.
The Chase in the Camping World Truck Series has Crafton and Kennedy as the drivers who are out after their issues during the race. Crafton is nine points away from the cutoff and Kennedy is ten points away from the cutoff. Of those in the top-four, Sauter holds a seven-point lead over Bell, Peters is eight points back, and William Byron is 11 points out.
Next up for the Camping World Truck Series is the Striping Technology 350 from Texas Motor Speedway. The race will kick-off a triple header weekend beginning on November 4th at 8:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
Grant Enfinger will win the Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. This is his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. GMS Racing will sweep the superspeedway races in 2016 as the victor. Enfinger was the 2015 ARCA champion.
“It’s unbelievable. This is my home track. It’s just so special for everybody thats here. We came here as fans; thats how this whole deal started. This is for these guys (the team) right here. It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Enfinger in a post race interview.
The first half saw Enfinger taking an early lead after starting on the front row. He attempted to block the momentum from both the outside and inside lane. However, the bottom lane had the momentum in the early stages of the race. The caution flew for John Hunter Nemechek, who blew up as the field was on the backstretch. When the field went back to green, the inside lane continued to have the momentum. Korbin Forrister dropped back of the pack because he was shuffled out of the back. After shuffling Austin Cindric out of the lead of the outside lane, Timothy Peters was able to lead the outside lane to the front. Cody Coughlin was shuffled out of the draft, but stalled on the backstretch. After going back to green, the caution flew due a spin by John Wes Townley, who was battling for the lead, that caught Daniel Hemric, who was racing his way out of being eliminated. Peters was the leader, William Byron was second, Ben Rhodes was third, Ben Kennedy was fourth, and Brandon Brown rounded out the top five as the race entered the second half.
At the beginning of the second half, Peters started as the leader, but the outside lane pushed Kennedy to the lead. However, the caution flew after a spin by Dylan Lupton that caught Brandon Hightower and Cody Ware on the front stretch. When the field went back to green, the inside and outside lane had the same momentum, but the caution flew for a big wreck that started when Ben Rhodes shot to the outside wall and went back down into the pack to collect numerous cars. After a lengthy cleanup, the race went back to green with Enfinger as the early leader, but Matt Tifft continued to swap the lead. The outside lane lost momentum as drivers were working on the bottom. The caution flew for a single car spin by Hemric. When the field went back to green, it was a GMS Racing trio with Enfinger, Gallagher, and Kennedy, but the caution flew as Crafton blew an engine. The field went back to green with two laps remaining, but Enfinger ended up with the victory, Gallagher finished second, Peters finished third, Rico Abreu finished fourth, and Kennedy rounded out the top-five.
The race saw seven cautions for 33 laps. The average speed of the race was 119.161 mph. The time of race was 2 hours, 5 minutes, and 54 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.107 seconds.
Hemric and Nemechek are the two drivers who will not advance to the “Round of 6” in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series chase. Going into Martinsville, Byron will be the top seed with his win in New Hampshire. Bell, Peters, Kennedy, Sauter, and Crafton remain in the Chase.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be the Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network will have the call at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Spencer Gallagher broke the track record with a speed of 176.148 mph to win his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole for the American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. John Wes Townley will start beside Gallagher on the front row. This is the fourth time in 2016 a new track record has been established in qualifying.
The first round of qualifying saw Timothy Peters top the leaderboard with a speed of 175.376 mph. Gallagher was second with a speed of 175.126 mph, Daniel Suarez was third at a speed of 175.046 mph, Townley was fourth at a speed of 174.995 mph, and Tyler Reddick was fifth at a speed of 174.967 mph. Matt Tifft filled the transfer spot with a speed of 174.223 mph, just three hundredths of a second over Matt Crafton. Some notable drivers who did not advance to the second round include Crafton who qualified P13, Cole Custer who qualified 17th, and John Hunter Nemechek who qualified 18th. No drivers will be going home for tonight’s race. There were no major incidents within the first round of qualifying.
The second round of qualifying saw the track begin to pick up speed. Daniel Hemric and Tifft ran the same speed during qualifying at 174.984 mph, but Hemric received the position ahead of Tifft due to his place in points. The track record was broken by the top five drivers. Townley will start second with a speed of 175.896 mph, Suarez qualified third with a speed of 175.713 mph, Reddick qualified fourth with a speed of 175.530 mph, and Peters rounded out the top five with a speed of 175.513 mph.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the American Ethanol E15 225. The race will begin on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00PM EST. Motor Racing Network will have the radio call beginning at 8:00PM EST.