There’s no place like home for anyone, let alone a racecar driver, and even though Iowa’s definitely not Johnny Sauter’s home, there could be no better place for the Wisconsin native to be this weekend than at Iowa Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland.
Sauter’s average finish in six Truck Series starts on the .875-mile oval is fifth, second only to ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton’s 4.7 average. Sauter buttresses that with a 5.7 average start so it’s easy to see why he’s anxious for his No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota to be unloaded Saturday.
“Iowa’s a short track, we all grew up racing on short tracks but it’s a place that I’ve particularly thrived on,” Sauter said. “Timing is everything and after we thought we had our season turned around back at Bristol, we went to Canada.
“But the great thing about my crew chief, Dennis Connor and my team is we never give up — no matter how heartbreaking some of the racing luck we’ve had this season has been. That’s why I’m glad we’re in Iowa this weekend.”
Sauter’s five-race career record at Iowa was superlative when the series arrived for its July night race. Sauter had five consecutive top-five finishes at Iowa before he had a tire go down and send him into the wall midway through the most recent race. The fact that Sauter came back to finish 11th with a wounded Tundra has his spirits up.
“Since Dennis has come on board we’ve had great trucks,” Sauter said. “That’s got me fired-up about this weekend.”
Sauter’s still in a position to make a step toward getting back into the top-five in the standings. He’s currently 10th, 39 points out of fifth and 107 behind series-leader Crafton.
There will be a single Truck Series practice on Saturday, from 11 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. CT. A public autograph session featuring Truck Series drivers is scheduled in the infield fan zone from 4:15-5 p.m. Coors Light Pole Qualifying to set the starting lineup is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
The 200-lap, 175-mile Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland will be telecast live on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. CT, preceded at 12:30 p.m. by The Setup pre-race show. MRN Radio’s live broadcast begins at 1. Live timing & scoring is available at www.nascar.com