Sauter holds off late charges for 19th career win
By Dominic Aragon
May 4, 2018
Johnny Sauter picked up his second victory of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday at Dover International Speedway, holding off a late-race battle from Noah Gragson, and Matt Crafton in overtime.
Sauter led on four occasions in the JEGS 200, totaling a race high 137 of the 210 laps. Additionally, he picked up a win in the second stage of the race.
“Not everyday you get a truck like that... I couldn’t be more proud to win the race in the fashion that we did,” Sauter said post-race in the media center.
Sauter’s win is the 19th victory of his Truck Series career, placing him in sole position of sixth all-time on the wins list in the series.
Sauter held off Gragson with a few laps left in regulation. The two made contact with two laps to go entering Turn 3, ultimately sending Gragson for a spin and his truck into the outside wall. He finished 20th.
“Just pushed it over the limit and I take full responsibility for what happened,” Gragson said. “Just sometimes—it’s so hard to win these things, so you give 100 percent and sometimes you cross the line when you’re in the situation like that.
“I was racing for the win and tried to side draft him and we hit off each other and I went around. It’s just hard racing – no fault to Johnny (Sauter). I respect him as a driver and that’s just a racing deal.”
The caution flag flew for the final time, sending the race into overtime. Crafton restarted on the front row with Sauter for the two-lap shootout, but the latter prevailed and pulled away for a .533 second margin of victory.
Crafton finished second, Justin Haley was third, David Gilliland took fourth and Harrison Burton rounded out the top five.
Other winners in the Truck Series this year are Brett Moffitt (Atlanta), Kyle Busch (Las Vegas) and John Hunter Nemechek (Martinsville).
The next Truck Series race is next Friday night, May 11, at Kansas Speedway with television of coverage FOX Sports 1.
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