Sauter Storms to Third in Talladega Talladega, Ala. (October 30, 2010) -- After spending much of the first two-thirds of the Mountain Dew 250 lounging around at the back of the lead draft, Johnny Sauter charged towards the front with ten laps...
Sauter Storms to Third in Talladega
Talladega, Ala. (October 30, 2010) -- After spending much of the first two-thirds of the Mountain Dew 250 lounging around at the back of the lead draft, Johnny Sauter charged towards the front with ten laps to go and figured in a three-wide battle for the win, crossing the stripe side-by-side with winner Kyle Busch and second-place Aric Almirola. Although in third at the end, Sauter was just 29-one thousandths of a second behind Busch at the stripe.
"What an awesome day for ThorSport Racing," Sauter said after climbing from the No. 13 FarmPaint.com/Curb Records Chevrolet. "We talked about dropping to the back before the race and we decided it would probably be best to start back there so we dropped out of line before the start and just hung out back there. When it was time to go we got hooked up with the 51 (Almirola) and we went right to the front. We learned yesterday in practice that we could really run to the front with him behind us. We'd have never made it back up there without getting hooked up with him. I saw Busch rub against him through the tri-oval and it broke their momentum and I dove to the outside. We had so much momentum with Matt (Crafton) on our bumper, if the race was 100 yards longer we'd be celebrating a ThorSport 1-2 finish. Considering what usually happens at these races we're ecstatic coming out of here third and fourth."
Sauter made some aggressive moves over the final third of the race, including diving into a hole that was about six inches longer than the length of his truck.
"When you're at the end of these races you have to get aggressive. The give and take that you do in the first 80 laps is out the window and it's about taking whatever you can get," Sauter said. "Almirola pushed us to the front and he did what he had to do to get hooked up with the guy he said he'd work with so he hung us out to dry. If I didn't go with him we'd have been shuffled back to the end of the line and our day would have been done."
Sauter heaped praise on the ThorSport Racing team and his crew chief Joe Shear for spending much of the four-week break between the Las Vegas and Martinsville races working on the Talladega truck.
"This truck was just as good as we thought it would be," Sauter said. "It blew the best numbers of any ThorSport Racing truck ever in the wind tunnel. We knew we had a great engine. Joe and the guys did an incredible job with this truck. The only real worry we had were the things that were out of our control. We did our best to stay out of harm's way until the end and we knew if we did that we'd have a great shot to win it at the end."
Sauter remains third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, 98 points behind Almirola in second. He leads his ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton, who moved up to fourth, by 94 points.
Next up for Sauter and the No. 13 FarmPaint.com/Curb Records Chevrolet is the Winstar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday November 5.