Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra, was optimistic entering the 17th race on the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule. Taking on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), the sight of his first NCWTS win in 2009 and a track where the ThorSport Racing driver had four top-five finishes in five previous starts, Sauter’s odds were favorable that he could make-up a seven point deficit on teammate and point leader Matt Crafton. Unfortunately, a 16th-place starting position foreshadowed a 14th-place finish in Saturday night’s Rhino Linings 350 at LVMS. The result leaves Sauter second in points, 19 markers behind first-place in the NCWTS driver point battle.
Sauter was forced to start from the 16th position in the 146-lap event when his Tundra didn’t make it around the 1.5-mile oval to take the green flag before the 10 minute clock timed out in Round 2 of knockout pole qualifying on Saturday afternoon. As the No. 98 machine was making his way around the famed track in the final moments of the second round, the No. 05 machine spun in Turn 4, bringing out the red flag before the No. 98 could cross the stripe, resulting in a 16th-place starting position for the 18th annual event.
Showing speed and determination in the opening laps, Sauter was scored in the eighth position when the first caution flag was displayed on lap three for a spin in Turn 4. The ThorSport Racing driver continued to maintain a position inside the top-10 complaining that his Tundra was “tight but freeing up a little bit,” as the run progressed. Crew chief Jeff Hensley brought the Necedah, Wisc. native to pit road twice under caution for scheduled stops at laps 32 and 57, respectively, for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
As the night progressed, Sauter fell as far back as 18th in the running order and continued to complain that his Tundra was “sideways loose.” Hensley brought the No. 98 machine to pit road for a final scheduled stop under green at lap 110 for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. Sauter would make the best of his Tundra in the final 35 laps to cross the stripe in the 14th position behind race winner, Erik Jones.
• Johnny Sauter finished 14th in his sixth NCWTS start in the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
• The ThorSport Racing driver remains second in the 2014 NCWTS driver point standings, 19 markers behind leader Matt Crafton
• In 2014, Sauter has amassed one win, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes
• Erik Jones won the 18th annual Rhino Linings 350 at LVMS, his third career NCWTS victory. Darrell Wallace, Jr. (second), Matt Crafton (third), Timothy Peters (fourth), and Brian Ickler (fifth) rounded out the top-five finishers, all of which were driving Toyota’s
• The NCWTS will take two weeks off before heading to Talladega Superspeedway for the Fred’s 250 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, October 18
Quote – Johnny Sauter:
“Not the night we were expecting at all. We kind of got the raw end of the deal in qualifying and were forced to start deep in the pack. The truck was tight at the start of a run, but I was able to make it work. Right after the competition caution it swung loose and it was sideways all night. I don’t know if we broke a helix or what, but it was just a handful.”
Practice: 8th; 31.204 seconds/173.05mph
Final Practice: 11th; 31.279 seconds/172.640mph
Qualifying: 16th; 0.00
ABOUT NEXTANT AEROSPACE:
Nextant Aerospace is recognized as the first company in the world to introduce aircraft remanufacturing to the business jet market. The Nextant 400XTi is a completely-rebuilt Beechjet 400A/XP with Williams FJ44-3AP engines and the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ integrated avionics suite. The new aircraft also has major aerodynamic enhancements and an improved engine mounting configuration with redesigned nacelles and pylons. The 400XTi is delivered with a two-year full-aircraft warranty and after-sales support provided by a global network of owned and authorized service centers. Founded in 2007, Nextant is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Nextant is a Directional Aviation Capital company. For more information, please visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @NextantAero or join us on LinkedIn.
ABOUT CURB RECORDS:
Curb Records is one of the world’s leading independent music companies. Owned and operated by Mike Curb since 1962, Curb Records has achieved 375 Billboard number one records, nearly 1,200 Billboard Top Ten records and charted just under 4,000 Billboard records. Today’s roster includes some of the top names in Country, Christian and Pop/Rock music. Curb Records was honored as Billboard Magazine’s 2001 Country Music Label of the Year and Radio & Records Magazine’s 2005 Overall Gold Label of the Year. For more information visit www.curb.com.
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 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.