Sauter Charges to Fifth at Nashville Lebanon, Tenn. (August 7, 2010) -- After struggling with a loose truck for most of the first two-thirds of the Nashville 200, Johnny Sauter caught a break in traffic on the final restart and was able to hang...
Sauter Charges to Fifth at Nashville
Lebanon, Tenn. (August 7, 2010) -- After struggling with a loose truck for most of the first two-thirds of the Nashville 200, Johnny Sauter caught a break in traffic on the final restart and was able to hang on for a fifth-place finish in the No. 13 CMT/Roll The Gold Chevrolet.
Sauter was seventh when the green flag waved with 39 laps to go, but jumped to fifth when the drivers directly in front of him, Brian Ickler and Mike Skinner, came together and slid up the track. Sauter dove low and slipped past, then drove away from the trucks behind him. He was able to hold onto the fifth spot at the checkered flag to collect his sixth top-five finish of the 2010 season and fourth in the past five races.
"We were so loose early in the race I couldn't race with anyone," Sauter said. "It was the loosest this truck has ever been since I've driven it. Joe (Shear, Jr., crew chief) and the guys tightened me up and made it better but late in the run we were a little too tight to make up any ground. We got lucky when those guys ran into each other and we were able to slide underneath both of them and move into the top five. I think we could have passed them on that last run, but it makes it a lot easier when they take themselves out of the equation and all you have to do is drive past."
Although Sauter was pleased with the result, he knows the team needs to start peaking now -- much like it did in 2009 -- if they are going to have a chance to chase down Nashville winner Todd Bodine for the championship.
"A top-five finish is great, but that still means there were four guys better than us at the finish," Sauter said. "Even when you win you look back and learn where you could be better. We need to continue to improve. This was about the time of the year last year when we started to come to life. I have a lot of faith in my guys, they worked their tails off all day today and had some of the best pit stops we've had all season tonight. We have some good tracks coming up so maybe we'll get a couple more wins before the season is over and close that gap in the points. We closed that gap in the points at Iowa, Gateway and ORP but he's opened it back up the last couple of weeks."
Sauter dropped one position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, sitting in fourth just one point behind third-place Timothy Peters. Sauter is 233 points behind leader Todd Bodine and 55 points ahead of Austin Dillon in fifth.
Next up for Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 Curb Records Chevrolet is the Too Tough to Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday August 14.