Johnny Sauter Powers the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy to a 4th Place Finish
ThorSport Racing's No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records team proved that 2011 can be a big year by delivering a strong performance and a fourth-place finish in the 2011 Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Johnny Sauter lined up the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevrolet Silverado in the 8th position with a qualifying lap time of 27.083 seconds at 132.925mph speed. He made impressive strides early on in the race by protecting the seventh position and following teammate Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Chevrolet - even after giving feedback in the first 30 laps that the truck was rolling over and having trouble in the corners.
Taking four tires and fuel at lap 38, the team also worked on air pressure to protect from splitter damage. Sauter went on to restart seventh after a lap 41 caution and motor to fourth by lap 63. Holding the spot for 25 laps until the next caution warranted a pit stop, Sauter wheeled the truck through a fast pit stop with four tires, trackbar and air pressure adjustments and as crew chief Joe Shear Jr said, "enough gas to get us through this thing as the tires hit." On lap 122, he powered back from fifth to fourth position and battled Ron Hornaday for the third position. Holding his own through a tight race truck in the final laps, Sauter showed his on-track prowess at Phoenix by motoring the No. 13 home in fourth position at the checkers.
The strong finish not only gives Sauter his first top 5 of the season (after Daytona's 17th finishing spot) for ThorSport Racing, but also lands him in the fourth position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver points going into Darlington on March 12.
Quote from Johnny Sauter:
"It was a solid night for me and my guys, I am so proud of them. We chased it all night long and freaking dug. The guys did an amazing job in the pits, I can't say that enough. We were fighting loose, tight, loose, tight all night long - just couldn't get that perfect balance. So to get the fourth place finish, we really worked as a team. Congrats to Kyle Busch on the win - that guy is just unbelievable. He just wins."
-source: johnny sauter PR