Flat Tire Deflates Sauter’s Chances For A Solid Finish At Eldora

TSR-Sauter-Nextant-Web-NewsPgStats:

Started: 7th
Finished: 22nd
Laps: 153/154
Status: Running
Driver Points: 4th
Owner Points: 5th 

Rossburg, OH (July 23, 2015) – Nextant Aerospace driver, Johnny Sauter, started seventh and finished 22nd in the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night following a multitude of mishaps in the 154-lap event.

Showing speed in both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) practice sessions on Wednesday morning, Sauter made contact with the Turn 3 wall late in the second practice session, causing damage to the left rear of his No. 98 Toyota Tundra. At a track known for slipping and sliding, the repairs to his Tundra proved to be worthy of a second-place result in qualifying and a third-place finish in the second qualifying race, and ultimately a seventh-place starting position for the feature event.

Running as high as second, and as low as 30th, Sauter maintained an Average Running Position of 16.8 throughout the 154-lap event. Crew chief Doug George brought the No. 98 machine to pit road during the first competition caution at lap 55 for four tires and fuel, including a wedge adjustment, to aid in a loose Toyota Tundra. Unfortunately, the Necedah, Wisc. driver would lose track position on the lap 60 restart and fall back to the 18th position.

Complaining of “no forward bite,” Sauter also suffered from damage on the right front nose of the No. 98 machine following contact with the No. 51. The chain of events ultimately caused a flat right front tire, forcing Sauter down pit road before it was open, at lap 95, for four tires and fuel. NASCAR also penalized the No. 98 team a lap for fueling the truck before the second competition caution. When racing resumed on lap 99, Sauter was scored in the 29th position, two laps down to the race leaders.

In the final 51 laps, the NCWTS veteran driver would gain seven positions on-track and be awarded one of his two laps back by earning the “Lucky Dog” award. Sauter would ultimately cross the stripe in the 22nd position, one lap down to race winner, Christopher Bell.

Quote:

“I thought we had a pretty decent Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra tonight. I got into the wall late in practice, but it didn’t seem to upset the truck too much. We were fortunate to have a good draw for qualifying position and ended up with a decent starting spot. The track was just dry slick at the start of the race, and I was just loose. We got behind on a restart, had a flat right rear tire, then some trouble in the pits, which put us even further behind. We ended up losing a couple laps, but worked hard on getting them back. We were just mired in the back and never fully recovered.”

Notes:

  • Sauter was 11th and sixth, respectively, in both NCWTS practice sessions at Eldora Speedway
  • The No. 98 Nextant Aerospace Toyota Tundra was second-quick in single-truck qualifying
  • Sauter started on the pole in Qualifying Race 2, and finished third
  • The ThorSport Racing machine started seventh and finished 22nd in the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic
  • Running as high as second and as low as 30th, two laps down, the Nextant Aerospace driver maintained an Average Running Position of 16.8 throughout the 154-lap event
  • In 2015, Sauter has four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in the season’s first 11 races of the season
  • The ThorSport Racing driver maintained a 4th-place position in the 2015 NCWTS driver point standings following the event
  • In 163 career NCWTS starts, Sauter has 10 wins, 60 top-five and 93 top-10 finishes
  • Christopher Bell won the 3rd Annual 1-800-Car-Cash Mudsummer Classic followed by Bobby Pierce (second), Tyler Reddick (Third), Erik Jones (fourth), and Daniel Hemric (fifth). ThorSport Racing teammate Cameron Hayley was eighth and Matt Crafton finished ninth
  • Up next: The Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway
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