Track-Best Finish for Sauter at Eldora

Jul 24, 2014

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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) visited Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH for only the second time in series history on Wednesday night for the 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic. Johnny Sauter, who was looking for redemption after the inaugural event at the half-mile clay oval, dug his heels deep into the Western Ohio mud and brought home an eighth-place finish in the 10th race on the 2014 schedule. The solid run was Sauter’s track-best finish at “The Big E” and his eighth top-10 finish of the season.

Starting fourth in Heat Race 5, Sauter battled with dirt-track specialist, Ken Schrader throughout the 10-lap shootout for position and made his way around the No. 52 machine on a restart with five laps remaining, and never looked back. Sauter would win his heat, placing the Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota Tundra on the inside of row three, in the fifth position, for the main event.

Sauter started NASCAR’s only dirt race from the fifth position, a track-best start for the Necedah, WI driver and his fourth top-five start of the 2014 season. Battling a Tundra that was “loose” in the early stages, Sauter was scored seventh when officials displayed the caution flag on lap 62, signaling the end of the first of three pre-designated segments. During the break, crew chief Dennis Conner brought the No. 98 machine down pit road for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment to aid in the handling. In the second 50-lap segment, Sauter’s Tundra swung to the tight side and the ThorSport Racing driver fell as far back as 14th. However, in the late running of the second segment, Sauter radioed into his crew that he was, “a lot better, I’m just a little tight in the center and loose off.” Therefore, when the final competition caution was displayed at lap 112 to signal the end of the second segment, the team stayed out and rallied in the final 40 laps to finish eighth in the 2nd annual Mudsummer Classic.

• Sauter was 10th and 26th-quick respectively in both NCWTS practice sessions at Eldora Speedway
• The No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Toyota Tundra was 20th-quick in single-truck qualifying
• Sauter lined-up fourth in Heat Race 5 and finished first
• The ThorSport Racing machine started fifth in the 2nd annual 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic, a track-best start for the Necedah, WI driver
• Sauter’s eighth-place finish at Eldora Speedway was a track-best finish for the ThorSport Racing driver, he finished 29th in 2013
• The solid run was the Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff driver’s eighth top-10 finish of the 2014 NCWTS season
• According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Sauter had an Average Running Position of 8.493, ranked ninth in Driver Rating and spent 100% of the 150 laps inside the top-15
• Darrell Wallace Jr. won the 2nd annual 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic, his third victory in 32 starts
• There were 17 cautions for 33 laps and five lead changes by five different drivers
• Ron Hornaday Jr., Ryan Blaney, Ken Schrader and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five finishers
• Wallace Jr’s win at Eldora solidified the 12th-consecutive victory for manufacturer Toyota, dating back to Phoenix International Raceway last November
• Up next: Sauter will make his fifth start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in the in the Pocono Mountains150 on Saturday, August 2

Quote – Johnny Sauter:
“We started the race off too loose and then we got too tight after the first adjustment and lost track position. Track position was key and I spent the rest of the race trying to get it back. I felt like the truck was much better at the end of the race and gained a few positions there at the end and managed a top-10 finish. We learned a lot, and the truck is in one piece so I think it was a decent night for everyone on this Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff team.”

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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 run in the Truck Series since 1996, in 2014 will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by 2013 drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 Carolina Nut Co. Toyota Tundra driven by Jeb Burton in the Truck Series and the No. 13 Toyota Camry in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.