Sauter Stays Out of Trouble and Off Pit Road to Take Fourth in Darlington Darlington, S.C. (August 14, 2010) -- While trucks were bouncing off the fences, Johnny Sauter stayed calm and collected and parlayed smart pit strategy into a...
Sauter Stays Out of Trouble and Off Pit Road to Take Fourth in Darlington
Darlington, S.C. (August 14, 2010) -- While trucks were bouncing off the fences, Johnny Sauter stayed calm and collected and parlayed smart pit strategy into a fourth-place finish in the Too Tough to Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway on Friday night. Sauter made his final pit stop with 71 laps to go, kept the tires in good condition and with numerous cautions over the second half of the race was able to stretch the fuel mileage in the No. 13 In Country Television/Curb Records Chevrolet to rack up his seventh top-five finish of the season.
"It was a good night for the team," Sauter said. "We knew going in that we'd have to race the racetrack all night and that's what we did. We didn't really race hard with anyone all night long. We stayed out of trouble, but there were a few times we almost got collected in someone else's problem. We just barely missed (Justin Lofton) when he spun in turn one. That's exactly why we didn't want to get out there and race anyone too hard because as soon as you start focusing on that guy in front of you the track can jump up and get you. If we'd have been in there racing hard for that spot we'd have ended up wrecked for sure."
Sauter was unhappy with the truck in practice earlier in the day but pleased with the effort his Joe Shear-led team turned in to give him his fifth top-five finish in the last six races.
"We weren't where we wanted to be in practice but my guys busted their tails and made some changes for qualifying and the race," Sauter said. "Joe made the call not to pit again and give up track position and that was definitely the call to make tonight. Since the repaved this track you can run a fuel run on tires without a big drop off. We were right on the edge of that fuel window with 70 or so laps to go, but we had all of those cautions at the end and that helped. We didn't want to talk about a green-white-checkered finish or two, but thankfully we didn't worry about it and we brought it home fourth.
Sauter unofficially stays fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, just 21 points behind third-place Timothy Peters and 35 points behind second-place Aric Almirola. He's 268 points behind leader and Darlington winner Todd Bodine.
"I don't know what we can do to close the gap on Bodine," Sauter said. "We have a lot of really great tracks coming up and we're going to do everything we can. We aren't giving up and we know we can do it."
Next up for Sauter and the No. 13 In Country Television/Curb Records Chevrolet is the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday August 18.