Sauter takes Dover Truck win after contact with Gragson

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Sauter takes Dover Truck win after contact with Gragson
Nick DeGroot
By: Nick DeGroot
May 4, 2018, 11:27 PM

Johnny Sauter wins at Dover after a two-lap shootout to earn his 19th career Camping World Truck Series victory.

Sauter led 137 of 200 laps en route to the win.

"Well you just never give up," he said in Victory Lane.

"We had to work for this one today. I had a good run on him (Noah Gragson) there and he ran me up. I was like okay, you just gave me the green light to be aggressive, but that was just racing right there."

Sauter controlled the field for the start of the final stage, but found a challenge when Little cut underneath him and moved into command with 79 laps to go. Sauter responded and re-claimed the lead three laps later.

With 45 laps to go, the yellow lights were turned on again as Friesen pounded the wall with a cut tire. Little's strong showing was severely hindered after NASCAR penalized him for pitting outside the box, holding him for a lap. 

Sauter held serve at the front, but nearly saw his race go awry when two slower trucks collided in front of him and caused yet another yellow.

The battle for the win heated up with 12 laps to go as Gragson found his way around Sauter, but the veteran was not done yet. He fought back as the laps clicked away and even got into the wall as the two pushed each other to the very limit.

Ultimately, it ended in calamity as Gragson bounced off Sauter's door and crashed hard just before the white flag. He finished 20th.

"Yeah just extremely disappointed in myself," he said after the race, explaining that he was trying to side-draft Sauter when contact was made.

"Not the way I try to race people. Unacceptable on my part."

The race went into overtime with Sauter forced to endure a two-lap shootout, which he did with ease despite a brief charge by Matt Crafton on the restart.

Justin Haley was third, David Gilliland fourth and Harrison Burton fifth. Cody Coughlin, Joe Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Jesse Little and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-ten.

Stage 1

Gragson led the field to the green flag pole position, but the race wasn't green for long as two trucks collided at the end of Lap 1. It was Stewart Friesen and Brett Moffitt who collided, igniting the first caution period of the race.

Green-flag running returned on Lap 7, but was again interrupted when Myatt Snider got into Austin Hill on Lap 15.

The remainder of the stage went incident-free with Gragson taking the Stage 1 win over Todd Gilliland, Haley, Sauter, Little, Rhodes, Crafton, David Gilliland, Nemechek and Friesen. 

Stage 2

Parker Kligerman took the lead for the start of the second stage with a no-tire call, but Sauter quickly found his way around him. But Kligerman held strong in the runner-up position for the majority of the stage until just four laps to go when he was black-flagged for smoke coming from his truck. After pulling into the pits, the team ascertained that their day was done, discovering a crack in the oil cooler.

An incident as the field raced to the white flag ended the stage under yellow with Sauter taking max bonus points. Haley was second, followed by Crafton, Gragson, Little, Rhodes, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, David Gilliland, and Snider.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 21 united_states Johnny Sauter  Chevrolet 210   137
2 88 united_states Matt Crafton  Ford 210 0.533  
3 24 united_states Justin Haley  Chevrolet 210 0.778  
4 54 united_states David Gilliland  Toyota 210 0.985  
5 51 united_states Harrison Burton  Toyota 210 1.608  
6 2 united_states Cody Coughlin  Chevrolet 210 2.043  
7 8 united_states Joe Nemechek  Chevrolet 210 2.717  
8 41 united_states Ben Rhodes  Ford 210 3.222  
9 97 united_states Jesse Little  Ford 210 5.092 2
10 4 united_states Todd Gilliland  Toyota 209 1 lap  
11 13 united_states Myatt Snider  Ford 209 1 lap  
12 16 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 209 1 lap  
13 25 united_states Dalton Sargeant  Chevrolet 209 1 lap  
14 98 united_states Grant Enfinger  Ford 208 2 laps  
15 22 united_states Austin Wayne Self  Chevrolet 208 2 laps  
16 20 united_states Tanner Thorson  Chevrolet 207 3 laps  
17 49 united_states Wendell Chavous  Chevrolet 206 4 laps  
18 3 united_states Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 206 4 laps  
19 45 united_states Justin Fontaine  Chevrolet 204 6 laps  
20 18 united_states Noah Gragson  Toyota 198 12 laps 60
21 7 united_states Korbin Forrister  Toyota 197 12 laps  
22 10 united_states Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 194 16 laps  
23 52 united_states Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 153 57 laps  
24 74 united_states Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 129 81 laps  
25 33 united_states Josh Reaume  Toyota 124 86 laps  
26 83 Bayley Currey  Chevrolet 122 88 laps  
27 6 united_states Norm Benning  Chevrolet 120 90 laps  
28 75 united_states Parker Kligerman  Chevrolet 87 123 laps 11
29 63 united_states Camden Murphy  Chevrolet 58 152 laps  
30 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 15 195 laps  
31 02 united_states Austin Hill  Chevrolet 13 197 laps  
32 50 united_states Todd Peck  Chevrolet 7 203 laps  
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