Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet Silverado, earned a ninth-place finish at Michigan International Raceway in Saturday’s . The result marks Sauter’s third top-10 finish at the Brooklyn, Mich., track and 10th top-10 finish of the 2016 season.
The Necedah, Wis., native advanced through two rounds of single truck qualifying to start the 100-lap event from the seventh position. He reported to the team that he couldn’t get the truck going at the start of the race and dropped back six positions in the first 10 laps. Sauter recovered quickly, advancing six positions to sit in seventh when the first caution of the day occurred on lap 32 due to caution clock expiration. Crew chief Joe Shear brought Sauter to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help with a tight-handling truck. The field returned to green on lap 35 with the No. 21 restarting in the sixth position. Caution waved again on lap 46 and Sauter returned to pit road for a fuel only stop, securing a fifth-place position for the restart. Sauter again told the team he was having trouble getting up to speed on restarts and lost a few positions in the first few laps under green. On lap 64, Sauter once again reported a tight-handling condition and pitted under caution for two tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Following a return to green on lap 68, Sauter made contact with another truck and suffered damage to the front end of the No. 21 on lap 70. Shear brought him to pit road after the right front tire went flat and he received four tires and fuel as the team tried to repair the nose of the truck. Sauter was able to make his way up to the eleventh position two laps following the restart, allowing him to maintain position during the final two caution periods of the day which resulted in only nine of the final 25 laps being run under green. Sauter advanced into the top 10 on the last two green flag laps to earn his tenth top-10 finish of the season.
Sauter is now fourth in the driver championship point standings with one win and two races left before the Chase field is set at Chicagoland Speedway.
JOHNNY SAUTER QUOTE:
“Our Alamo Chevrolet was really strong. We were in good position to be up front battling for a win at the end before the nose was damaged. We struggled on restarts but our truck was so good that once we go going I could pick up position and make up for what we lost. The damage to the nose is what slowed us down; there was just so much air coming through it. The guys did a good job to fix it up enough to keep us out there and to get another top-10 finish. We’d much rather be winning but these are the types of finishes that will help us learn and keep us in contention through the Chase.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action on September 4 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
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TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!