Late-Race Incident Relegates Sauter To A 25th-Place Finish At Phoenix

TSR-Sauter-SMS-Web-NewsPgStats:
Started: 16th
Finished: 25th
Laps: 120/150
Status: Accident
Driver Points: 4th
Owner Points: 4th

Avondale, AZ (November 14, 2015) – Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota Tundra, showed promise for a strong run in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. Starting from the 16th position, the ThorSport Racing driver worked his way inside the top-10 by lap 15, complaining of a Toyota Tundra that was, “a little free” early in the run, and “snug” as the run progressed. Crew chief Doug George would bring the No. 98 machine to pit road, under caution, at lap 40, for two tires, including an air pressure adjustment, and fuel. The two-tire stop would allow Sauter to gain valuable track position and restart from the fifth position at lap 44.

Running competitively inside the top-five, Sauter worked his way into the fourth position by lap 98, although his SmokeySnuff.com Tundra was, “too tight on exit.” George brought the No. 98 machine to pit road, for their final stop of the night, for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment under the lap 105 caution for an accident in Turn 3.

Restarting third, with just over 40 laps remaining, Sauter was poised to contend with the leaders for the top spot in the final laps. Unfortunately, Sauter’s ThorSport Racing teammate, Matt Crafton, would get loose in front of the No. 98, exiting Turn 4 at lap 120 of 150, ultimately making contact with his Toyota Tundra, causing extensive damage. Sauter was forced to retire 30 laps early from the 21st annual event, and was relegated to a 25th-place finish behind race winner, Timothy Peters.

With only one race remaining on the 2015 NCWTS schedule, Sauter is fourth in the championship point standings.

Quote:

“He (Matt Crafton) was just racing the 4 (Erik Jones). I think he got loose, and spun out. When he came across the race track, I had nowhere to go. What do you do, it’s racing.”

Notes:

  • Johnny Sauter was 11th-quick in the lone NCWTS practice session on Thursday afternoon
  • The Smokey Snuff driver started 16th and finished 25th in the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday at PIR
  • In seven NCWTS starts at PIR, Sauter has led 11 laps en route to three top-five, and five top-10 finishes
  • In 2015, Sauter has seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes
  • The ThorSport Racing driver maintained a fourth-place position in the 2015 NCWTS driver point standings following the 22nd race on the 2015 NCWTS schedule
  • In 174 career NCWTS starts, Sauter has 10 wins, 63 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes
  • Timothy Peters won the Lucas Oil 150 at PIR followed by John Hunter Nemechek (second), John Wes Townley (third), Daniel Suarez (fourth), and Tyler Reddick (fifth)
  • Following the Lucas Oil 150, Toyota clinched its eighth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship
  • Up next: The NCWTS 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 20
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