GMS Take on Trucks: Sauter and Haley ready for playoffs

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GMS Take on Trucks: Sauter and Haley ready for playoffs
Tim Southers
By: Tim Southers
Aug 24, 2018, 12:17 AM

Johnny Sauter goes for second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, while Justin Haley readies for his playoff run as well this Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado GMS Fabrication wins
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado GMS Fabrication
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado GMS Fabrication
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass, Justin Haley, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado Fraternal Order Of Eagles
Justin Haley, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado Fraternal Order Of Eagles
Justin Haley, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado Fraternal Order Of Eagles
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado GMS Fabrication
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado ISM Connect
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Chevrolet Silverado GMS Fabrication

GMS Take on Trucks: Sauter and Haley ready for playoffs

Johnny Sauter goes for second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, while Justin Haley readies for his playoff run as well this Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Sauter, who won the 2016 Truck Series championship, heads into the playoffs with five wins and a lot of momentum as the top seed and regular season points leader.

“So far, this has been a season I could have never imagined,” said Sauter. “Not because this team isn't capable, this is the best group of guys out there. All of the pieces have to fall into place to make something like this happen and to keep it going, and I just couldn't be more proud of everyone.”

Sauter scored 12 top-five finishes in the first 16 races during the regular season, highlighted by his series-high five wins, and based on that success he feels they are capable of making it to the Championship 4 at Homestead.

“I don't see any reason we can't be one of the four teams competing in Miami,” said Sauter. “If we keep our heads down and focus on what is ahead we'll be okay. We've got a chance to go win another title. For the most part, this is the same team from that year. One or two faces may have changed, but we're the same No. 21 team we were when we showed up going for the championship in 2016.

“This first round is going to be tough. I'm not a road course racer, but if we don't get too greedy and stay out of trouble we should come out with a decent finish and go into Las Vegas with some momentum.”

For Haley, who scored his first Trucks Series win at Gateway Motorsports Park earlier this season, he knows he’s considered a long shot to win the title.

“I absolutely think we could be considered the dark horse of the Truck Series playoffs,” said Haley. “No one really has us picked to be a top contender even though we're one of five teams to have a win heading into the playoffs. We've run up front all season for the most part, even though our results may not reflect that.

“We just haven't had luck on our side when we need it, plus we had a bit of a slump in the summer. The No. 24 team though is gaining momentum back in the right direction at the right time, I think. There's a reason we made the playoffs, our Chevy Silverados have had speed all season and we've had the strategy, luck is the main thing we need more of.”

Although Haley has won only one race this season, he’s confident heading into the first round that he can surprise.

“While two of the three races in the Round of 8 can be wild cards, I really think the first round really plays into our hands,” Haley said. “I have experience at Canadian Tire and have always run competitively there. It's one of my favorite tracks on the Truck schedule.

“On the other end of the round, Talladega ends the first round, and while it involves some luck, I've always run well there including winning in ARCA there last season.”

Haley qualified second and finished fourth last year at CTMP and feels he has a chance to perform even better this weekend.

“We’ve put a lot of time into our road course truck this season just because we know I’m pretty competitive at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park,” Haley added. “We’re taking the same truck as last year but have made some changes to make it better.

“It’s one of my best tracks that we race at and it’s the first race of the playoffs. The hope is to get the win early in the Round of 8 at Canada and take the pressure off of us for the next two races.”

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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Johnny Sauter , Justin Haley
Teams GMS Racing
Author Tim Southers
Article type Special feature