Johnny Sauter, No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Curb Records Toyota Tundra
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Martinsville Speedway – Kroger 250
Race No. 3 of 23
Driver Points: 4th (-16)
Owner Points: 5th
Ridgeway, Va. (March 28, 2015) – When it comes to driver dominance at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, you think of Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota Tundra. Sauter, who has two wins at the half-mile “paperclip,” the most of any driver entered in the 250-lap event, didn’t have the dominating performance that he would have hoped for, but turned a ninth-place qualifying effort into a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Kroger 250.
The SmokeySnuff.com driver struggled with finding balance in his Toyota Tundra throughout the race, but maintained a position inside the top-five for a majority of the 250-lap event. At lap 185, late in a run, Sauter got loose going into Turn 1 and his ThorSport Racing teammate, who was behind him on the race track, got into the left rear bumper of the No. 98 machine, causing Sauter to slide up the race track and lose valuable track position. Crew chief Doug George called the ThorSport Racing driver to pit road for four tires, including an air pressure adjustment and fuel, to aid in the handling, and Sauter would restart 12th when the field took the green flag at lap 187 of 250.
Sauter would work his way through traffic over the final 71 laps, including a green-white-checker flag finish, and cross the stripe fourth behind race winner, Joey Logano. It was his fifth top-five finish at the half-mile track.
“It ended really well. Obviously we didn’t run like we have in the past. Our Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota was decent. I just started out really, really tight at the beginning of a run and like lap 15 of a run it’s like somebody flipped a switch and it was so loose I couldn’t drive it. Clearly, we had a balance problem; I don’t know what it is. Nonetheless, we finished fourth and we survived. When you’re not the fastest truck here, you have to kind of change your approach and try to survive and that’s all we did today.”
• Johnny Sauter finished fourth in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, his fifth top-five finish at the half-mile paperclip
• Sauter ran as high as 3rd and as low as 12th, but had an Average Running Position of 5.97 in the Kroger 250
• The ThorSport Racing driver spent 100% of the 250 laps inside the top-15
• In 2015, Sauter has one top-five and three top-10 finishes
• Joey Logano won the 17th annual Kroger 250 followed by Matt Crafton (second), Erik Jones (third), Sauter (fourth), and Tyler Reddick (fifth). Sauter’s ThorSport Racing teammate, Cameron Hayley, finished 11th
• Up next: Kansas 250 at Kansas Motor Speedway on Friday, May 8
About Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff:
Smokey Mountain is America’s original and best-selling tobacco-free smokeless brand. Appealing to adult smokeless tobacco consumers who are seeking tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternatives, Smokey Mountain is available in long cut and easy-to-use pouches.
About ThorSport Racing
ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. ThorSport, which has competed in the NCWTS since 1996, will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by two-time NCWTS drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter, and the No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cameron Hayley in 2015.