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Sauter scores first win of 2017 after strategy puts him in the lead

Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter picked up his first win of the season Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Sauter scores first win of 2017 after strategy puts him in the lead
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Kaz Grala, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Kaz Grala, GMS Racing Chevrolet, Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota and Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
Grant Enfinger, ThorSport Racing Toyota
Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing Toyota
Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing Toyota
Matt Crafton, ThorSport Racing Toyota
Ryan Truex, Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota
Ryan Truex, Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota

Sauter held off GMS Racing teammate Kaz Grala to win the Bar Harbor 200, Sauter’s first win of the season, 14th of his career at first at Dover.

A round of green-flag pit stops got interrupted on Lap 171 of 200 when a wheel came off Chase Briscoe’s No. 29 Ford, which brought out a caution.

Sauter was among those who did not need to pit for fuel, remained on the track and inherited the lead on the restart on Lap 176.

“There are just some days when you wake up and you feel like it’s not going to be your and things don’t seem to be clicking. I felt like we were off a little bit all weekend,” said Sauter, who had finished second in the series’ last three races.

“I’m so proud of everybody at GMS – a 1-2 finish today. What a great (pit) call to try to make it to the finish on fuel. Pit stops were great today. It’s just unbelievable after three second-place finishes to get a win.

“I’m so proud of my guys.”

Watch video of Sauter's win by clicking below on the image: 

 

Grala restarted fourth on the final restart and closed the distance considerably in the final laps, moving into second, but could not attempt a pass.

“We were close. The handling on my truck was pretty good at the end,” Grala said. “These races are about track position and clean air and we had both.”

Grant Enfinger finished third, Ben Rhodes was fourth and Austin Cindric finished fifth – a career-best in his rookie season.

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, many of the lead-lap cars elected to pit, but several remained on the track, including Rhodes who took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 100.

He was followed by Jesse Little, Harrison Burton, Briscoe and Sauter.

Stage 2

Matt Crafton claimed the win in the second Stage of the race when an incident involving John Hunter Nemechek, Parker Kligerman and T.J. Bell erupted on the final lap and placed the race under caution.

It was Crafton’s first Stage win of the season.

“It was good to get that win and lead a few laps” Crafton said. “We have a little bit of work to do to get the win.”

Crafton led on a restart with two laps remaining and was working to hold off Truex when Nemechek triggered the accident.

Rhodes finished third, Todd Gilliland was fourth and Cindric rounded out the top-five in the segment.

During the break between Stages 1 and 2, many of the lead-lap trucks pit for fuel and tires but several stayed out with Crafton taking over the lead on the start of segment on Lap 54.

Truex pit and restarted 12th but quickly made his way to the front.

Stage 1

Truex took the lead on the first lap and led the entire way to win the first Stage of Friday’s race, easily holding off Briscoe.

Little finished third, Sauter fourth and Noah Gragson rounded out the top-five of the first segment.

“The track’s changed a little bit. Our truck is fast, man – it’s fun to drive,” Truex said. “I’m actually using something I learned from watching Kyle Busch.”

On Lap 37, Christopher Bell – who was second in points entering the race – had a tire going down and was attempting to reach pit road but got involved in an accident, which brought an abrupt end to his day.

Truex continued to lead the way on the restart on Lap 41.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 21 united_states Johnny Sauter  Chevrolet 200 2:01'11 33
2 33 united_states Kaz Grala  Chevrolet 200 0.270  
3 98 united_states Grant Enfinger  Toyota 200 0.633  
4 27 united_states Ben Rhodes  Toyota 200 0.978 71
5 19 united_states Austin Cindric  Ford 200 8.040  
6 99 united_states Brandon Jones  Chevrolet 200 13.607  
7 92 united_states Regan Smith  Ford 200 16.602  
8 24 united_states J.J. Haley  Chevrolet 200 18.909  
9 18 united_states Noah Gragson  Toyota 199 1 lap  
10 16 united_states Ryan Truex  Toyota 199 1 lap 47
11 88 united_states Matt Crafton  Toyota 199 1 lap 46
12 29 united_states Chase Briscoe  Ford 199 1 lap 4
13 51 united_states Harrison Burton  Toyota 198 2 laps  
14 97 united_states Jesse Little  Toyota 198 2 laps  
15 66 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
16 13 united_states Cody Coughlin  Toyota 197 3 laps  
17 44 united_states Matt Mills  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
18 50 united_states Cody Ware  Chevrolet 190 10 laps  
19 49 united_states Wendell Chavous  Chevrolet 118 82 laps  
20 46 united_states Todd Gilliland  Toyota 116 84 laps  
21 75 united_states Parker Kligerman  Toyota 96 104 laps  
22 8 united_states John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 91 109 laps  
23 45 united_states T.J. Bell  Chevrolet 89 111 laps  
24 1 united_states Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 82 118 laps  
25 4 united_states Christopher Bell  Toyota 35 165 laps  
26 6 united_states Norm Benning  Chevrolet 27 173 laps  
27 02 united_states Austin Hill  Ford 22 178 laps  
28 52 united_states Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 20 180 laps  
29 36 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 16 184 laps  
30 10 united_states Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 12 188 laps  
31 83 united_states Todd Peck  Chevrolet 4 196 laps  
32 63 united_states Camden Murphy  Chevrolet 4 196 laps  

 

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