Sauter Unhappy with 15th at Martinsville Martinsville, Va. (March 27, 2010) -- Johnny Sauter left Martinsville Speedway happy with the performance of the No. 13 SealMaster/Try13.com Chevrolet but unhappy with his finish position after late-race...
Sauter Unhappy with 15th at Martinsville
Martinsville, Va. (March 27, 2010) -- Johnny Sauter left Martinsville Speedway happy with the performance of the No. 13 SealMaster/Try13.com Chevrolet but unhappy with his finish position after late-race contact with Ron Hornaday sent Sauter spinning out of the second position and relegating him to 15th finishing position.
Sauter had perhaps the only truck in the field capable of running with eventual winner Kevin Harvick, and spent most of the first half of the race charging through the top five to the second position. Misfortune struck on a pit stop on lap 120 when the jack dropped before the lugnuts on the left rear tire were properly tightened. The team quickly lifted the truck and reaffixed the wheel, patched up some minor body damage and sent Sauter back on track. But the time lost on pit road dropped Sauter from second to 21st.
Sauter quickly knifed through the field once back under green. Within twenty laps he was back among the top ten, and within 40 laps he was third. He eventually made it back up to second and was chasing down the leader when contact from Hornaday coming off turn four on lap 222 sent Sauter sideways. Mike Skinner had no where to go and connected with the left front of the No. 13 SealMaster/Try13.com Chevrolet and when it was all over Sauter had dropped to 17th. Even with considerable damage, Sauter was able to make up a couple of positions on the track and finish 15th.
"We're obviously disappointed with the way the day ended for the SealMaster/Try13.com Chevy," Sauter said. "There's no question we were one of the best two trucks here, and I really thought we had a chance to get up and race Harvick for the win. Unfortunately we got taken out. That's part of short track racing I guess. It's discouraging because the guys built an awesome truck and we deserved a lot better than that."
Sauter's impressive run from deep in the field gave him confidence to chase down the leader with less than 25 laps to go prior to the incident with Hornaday.
"I don't know what happened on that pit stop," Sauter said. "The jack dropped and I took off. The lugs weren't tight so we had to get the tire on there and lost a bunch of track position. We went back out and the truck was absolutely awesome. Joe Shear and the rest of the ThorSport guys did a great job with this truck. It did whatever I wanted it to and we ran right back up to second spot without any trouble at all. It's just a shame we didn't get a chance to get up there and race for the win but everyone knows how well we ran. We're going to Nashville and we'll run just as good there too, and every race on down the line."
Even owing to the late-race misfortune, Sauter still climbed five positions to 14th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings. He's just 183 points behind leader Timothy Peters and just 15 points behind David Starr in the tenth position.
Next up for Sauter and the ThorSport Racing No. 13 Chevrolet is the Nashville 200 on Friday April 2 at Nashville Superspeedway.