Long Day Results in 21st-place for Sauter at Martinsville Martinsville, Va. (October 23, 2010) -- The first three quarters of the Kroger 200 played into Johnny Sauter's hands and he was well positioned to close the deal with a solid finish, but...
Long Day Results in 21st-place for Sauter at Martinsville
Martinsville, Va. (October 23, 2010) -- The first three quarters of the Kroger 200 played into Johnny Sauter's hands and he was well positioned to close the deal with a solid finish, but involvement in two on-track incidents throughout the final quarter left the No. 13 SealMaster/Curb Records Chevrolet -- and it's driver -- steaming following the race.
Sauter stayed on the track to pick up the lead when many of the leaders came to pit road on lap 42. Sauter held the top spot for the next 49 laps before pitting under caution at lap 92. He was able to work his way back towards the front, moving back as high as third before Kyle Busch snuck past to bump him back to fourth before a caution at lap 149. Sauter pitted under that yellow and that's when his day took a turn for the worse.
Shortly after the restart he was punted into the turn one wall by James Buescher, damaging the left rear of the truck. With repairs made, Sauter was able to scramble back into the top ten, but some loose bodywork forced him back to pit road for more work. Before Sauter could make it on to pit road, Justin Lofton drove up and onto the left rear corner of the truck, damaging it even further. Sauter's crew was able to get the truck back on the track and he was then able to claim the free pass twice to rejoin the lead lap, allowing him to pick up a couple of positions over the final two-lap dash to the finish.
"We probably had one of the three best trucks here today and we're leaving here 21st," Sauter said. "We got up and led some laps and drove away from most of the guys who came in and got new tires. That's how good we were today. We were a little too tight and that's why we pitted again. I couldn't get up there and race for the win the way it was so we gambled on an adjustment and new tires. I think we could have raced back into the top five but we got wrecked. Even after that we raced back into the top ten, but we had some bodywork come off and had to pit to fix it. I knew we had a great truck to come here and we did. Circumstances worked against us. But I know we have four more races left and a truck just as good as this one to go to each of them so we'll put this behind us and go on to Talladega."
Sauter stays third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings but dropped to 88 points behind second-place Aric Almirola. He maintains a 78 point advantage over fourth-place Austin Dillon.
Next up for Sauter and the No. 13 FarmPaint.com/Curb Records Chevrolet is the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday October 30.