Sauter holds off teammate in ThorSport 1-2 finish at Michigan

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Sauter emerged victorious in a race that came down to the wire earlier today.

Johnny Sauter won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., on Saturday. Sauter's No. 98 ThorSport Racing Toyota was out front after a late-race cycle of splash-and-go pit stops in the final 10 laps and held that lead to win the fastest Truck race in series history. Matt Crafton finished second in the No. 88 Toyota to give ThorSport a one-two finish.

"Just a great performance. We had a great truck, especially on long runs," Sauter said. "Just proud of this effort."

Only one yellow flag

The yellow flag waved only once during the race, coming out early on lap seven. During that caution, the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota of Darrell Wallace Jr. and the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota of Timothy Peters set themselves apart from their competitors with a different pit strategy. Wallace and Peters stayed out under caution to claim the lead and second positions in the running order.

I think if we would've had the lead, we could've won the race

Matt Crafton

After staying out during the caution, Wallace headed down pit road under green, giving up the lead, on lap 38. Peters followed him down pit road. Both drivers fell off the lead lap for a time, but were back up to the top-two positions in the running order when the rest of the field cycled through stops just past the halfway point.

Busch's streak ends

Wallace's teammate and boss Kyle Busch held a large lead on the field in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota before most drivers hit pit road for green-flag stops. Busch had made his way to the front after battling handling issues early in the race, but the recovery looked to be all for naught when Busch ran out of fuel on pit road.

Wallace would encounter his own fuel issues later in the race, pitting from the lead on lap 76 of the 100-lap race and running out of fuel as he headed down pit road.

After pitting just past lap 50 most of the field just needed a splash of fuel and pitted for splash-and-go stops inside the final 10 laps. Crafton stayed out longer then Sauter but then blended in just behind his teammate after his stop.

"I think if we would've had the lead, we could've won the race," Crafton said. "Track position was key."

Splitter issues for BKR

The Brad Keselowski racing duo of Ryan Blaney in the No. 29 Ford and Joey Logano in the No. 19 were the class of the field earlier in the day, sweeping the front row in qualifying, but both drivers encountered splitter problems in the race and finished well outside the top-10. Logano wound up 18th and Blaney 21st.

Blaney was the points leader heading into the race but dropped to third in the standings after the checkered flag. Sauter, after scoring his first win of the season and his first-career victory and Michigan, took the points lead by a nine-point margin over Crafton. Blaney dropped back to third.

"We've got really good races coming up for us," Sauter said.

The No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Ron Hornaday finished the race third, while teammate Tayler Malsam was fourth in the No. 32. Busch recovered to finish fifth.

"We were just still too tight, and I couldn't catch Johnny," Hornaday said.

The No. 77 Red Horse Racing Toyota of German Quiroga was sixth, Peters seventh, the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Jeb Burton was eighth, the No. 21 GMW Racing Chevrolet of Joey Coulter ninth, and Joe Nemechek's No. 8 SWM-NEMCO Toyota rounded out the top-10.

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About this article
Series NASCAR-TRUCK
Event Michigan
Track Michigan International Speedway
Drivers Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch
Article type Race report