Sauter wins Martinsville Truck race, locks into final four

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Sauter wins Martinsville Truck race, locks into final four
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Oct 27, 2018, 6:52 PM

Johnny Sauter will once again compete for the Camping World Truck Series championship.

Sauter held off Brett Moffitt to win Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and locked himself in the Championship 4 race at Homestead, Fla., in three weeks. It’s the third consecutive season Sauter has advanced to the title race.

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you,” Sauter said over his radio as he took the checkered flag. “Great jobs guys.”

The win is Sauter’s sixth of the season, fourth at Martinsville and 23rd of his career.

"These guys busted their tails - everybody at GMS Racing. You know we came here and we had done a lot of work with a new set-up and we had it already to go and we came here and it was raining (on Friday) and I was like, 'Now what?' And they said we'd run the old stuff because we couldn't run that now," Sauter said in Victory Lane.

"Track position just seems to be the name of the game here any more. This is a a big win."

Asked about the next-to-last restart where he briefly lost the lead to Myatt Snider, Sauter said, "I felt like I had a good restart. I'm not sure he would have made the corner if he didn't dive-bomb it in there. I had really good grip on the outside. 

"Just so proud of everybody at GMS Racing. I'm going to Homestead to fight for a championship. That's what it's all about." 

Myatt Snider finished third, Ben Rhodes fourth and Kyle Benjamin completed the top-five.

On Lap 153 of 200, Dawson Cram wrecked after contact from Stewart Friesen on the frontstretch to bring out a caution. Most of the lead-lap cars remained on the track and Sauter continued to lead the way on the restart on Lap 160.

As Snider powered to the lead over Sauter on the restart, Grant Enfinger and Chase Purdy both got turned around to bring the caution back out.

The race returned to green on Lap 168 with Snider in the lead followed by Sauter and Moffitt.

Sauter moved back into the lead on the restart as Benjamin moved back into third.

With 20 races left in the race, Sauter moved out to an almost 2-second lead over Snider with Moffitt having moved into third.

With 13 laps to go, Moffitt got around Snider to take the second position.

Stage 2

Sauter led every green-flag lap on his way to the Stage 2 victory over Gragson.

John Hunter Nemechek was third, Todd Gilliland was fourth and Matt Crafton completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, Sauter remained on the track and continued to lead the way when the second stage went green on Lap 61.

On Lap 62, Friesen spun out after suffering a flat tire following contact with Sheldon Creed. The race returned to green on Lap 67.

With 15 laps remaining in the second stage, Sauter held a small lead over Noah Gragson with Crafton more than three seconds behind in third.

With 10 to go, Gilliland went three-wide to move into the third position behind Sauter and Gragson.

Nemechek moved into the third position with four laps remaining

Stage 1

After a late-stage caution, Sauter held off Gragson to claim the Stage 1 win.

Crafton finished third, Rhodes was fourth and Benjamin completed the top-five.

Gilliland, who started on the pole, took command early and remained out front through the first 20 laps.

With 30 to go in the first stage, Gilliland held a 1.6-second lead over Burton with Rhodes close behind in third.

Burton had cut Gilliland’s margin down to 1.1 seconds with 20 laps left in the first stage. Rhodes was third, Enfinger fourth and Sauter fifth.

On Lap 37, a caution was displayed when Chad Finley wrecked. Both Gilliland and Burton took the opportunity to pit for fuel and tires. On the restart on Lap 44, Sauter took over the lead followed by Gragson and Rhodes.

With five laps left in the stage, Sauter maintained a small advantage over Gragson.

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Laps Led
1 21 United States Johnny Sauter  Chevrolet 200   148
2 16 United States Brett Moffitt  Toyota 200 4.572  
3 13 United States Myatt Snider  Ford 200 6.577 7
4 41 United States Ben Rhodes  Ford 200 7.030  
5 17 United States Kyle Benjamin  Toyota 200 8.248 6
6 24 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 200 8.767  
7 18 United States Noah Gragson  Toyota 200 9.414  
8 51 United States Harrison Burton  Toyota 200 9.450  
9 46 United States Christian Eckes  Toyota 200 10.130  
10 23 United States Timothy Peters  Chevrolet 200 10.238  
11 52 United States Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 200 11.348  
12 4 United States Todd Gilliland  Toyota 200 11.846 39
13 88 United States Matt Crafton  Ford 200 12.203  
14 98 United States Grant Enfinger  Ford 200 13.201  
15 30 United States Jeb Burton  Toyota 200 13.523  
16 75 United States Parker Kligerman  Chevrolet 200 14.107  
17 25 Tyler Dippel  Chevrolet 200 14.586  
18 54 Tyler Ankrum  Toyota 200 14.968  
19 2 United States Sheldon Creed  Chevrolet 200 15.653  
20 02 United States Austin Hill  Chevrolet 200 15.831  
21 99 United States Chase Purdy  Chevrolet 200 15.996  
22 63 United States Kevin Donahue  Chevrolet 200 17.934  
23 22 United States Austin Wayne Self  Chevrolet 200 18.843  
24 83 Dawson Cram  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
25 49 Canada D.J. Kennington  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
26 3 United States Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
27 45 United States Justin Fontaine  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
28 15 Brad Foy  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
29 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 189 11 laps  
30 8 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 177 23 laps  
31 20 United States Tanner Thorson  Chevrolet 137 63 laps  
32 33 Chad Finley  Chevrolet 35 165 laps  
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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Martinsville II
Drivers Johnny Sauter
Teams GMS Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Race report