SAUTER RUNS FROM POLE TO CHECKERED FLAG IN O'REILY 300 FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Oct. 15, 1999) - After winning the pole Thursday evening for the O'Reilly 300, Jay Sauter gleefully exclaimed "I love Texas." After Friday evening's NASCAR Craftsman...
SAUTER RUNS FROM POLE TO CHECKERED FLAG IN O'REILY 300
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Oct. 15, 1999) - After winning the pole Thursday evening for the O'Reilly 300, Jay Sauter gleefully exclaimed "I love Texas." After Friday evening's NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway, he may be considering taking up residence and making this a long-term relationship.
Sauter bided his time and stayed in the hunt all evening, and with just a handful of laps remaining took the lead in his Goodwrench Chevy and held off strong competition from Greg Biffle in the Grainger Ford and Dennis Setzer in the MoPar Dodge to take the win.
For Sauter, it was his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck win in a row after winning the Kroger 225 at Louisville last weekend.
Sauter led the field to the green flag, but by lap 10 had slipped to fifth as Ron Hornaday began what was to be a dominating run for the majority of the race. Through the lion's share of this 125-lap Texas truck shootout, Hornaday seemed to be able to pass at will and run to the front any time he wanted, leading 80 of the first 106 laps. But on lap 106, a yellow flag was thrown for debris on the track and Hornaday slammed into the back of Rick Crawford's truck, doing heavy damage to the front end. Once again at Texas, Hornaday's chance for victory disappeared.
Once the green flew again on lap 112, Setzer led championship contender Greg Biffle, Randy Tolsma and Sauter on what would be a wild chase to the finish.
On the very next lap, B.A. Wilson spun through the main stretch and came to rest inside of turn one, bringing out the yellow once more. The green flew again on lap 117, and Biffle and Sauter came through the traffic to take the top two positions, delegating Setzer to third. Finally on lap 120 Sauter passed Biffle just as Mike Bliss and Randy Renfrow made heavy contact in turn four, bringing out the final yellow and setting up a two-lap sprint to the finish.
After struggling with restarts all night long, Sauter took the green on lap 123 and held off Biffle and Setzer to take the checkered flag. Mike Wallace and Randy Tolsma rounded out the top five.
"Two in a row...what a night for this Richard Childress team," Sauter said after the race. "They gave me a great truck and Todd Berrier called a great race for me...you gotta have luck, but two in a row is just awesome."
Biffle retook the season points lead with his second place finish, bumping 11th place finisher Jack Sprague back to second. "It was a good race for the Granger team, and I'm happy to be back in the points lead," said Biffle. "But going into California with a 21-point lead doesn't give you any cushion at all."
Sauter averaged 132.430 mph in taking the win and took home $60,300. His margin of victory after the wild shootout at the end was .2675 seconds. Nine drivers led the race with 14 lead changes, and there were six cautions for 26 laps. The time of the race was 1 hour, 24 minutes, 57 seconds.