Coming into the 2018 season, one thing was on Sauter’s mind and that was to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. In 2017, he had four wins and raced in the championship 4, only to finish one spot short of being a two-time consecutive champion.
This year, the No. 21 team fired right out of the gate with a win at Daytona, which automatically qualified him for the playoffs. Since then, Sauter has claimed five more wins at Dover, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Bristol, and Martinsville. The lowest Sauter has ever finished this season was 22nd at Talladega when he got caught up in an accident. Otherwise, his stats have been spectacular with 14 top fives, 17 top 10 finishes, 585 laps led and only one DNF. That’s a championship season and contender if you ask me.
How He Got Here: A dominant performance at Martinsville with a win gave him a championship berth at Homestead for a third consecutive time. The team has had somewhat indifferent finishes the past two weeks, but the focus is now on Homestead.
Sauter’s Chances: Sauter has been stellar in recent years at Homestead. You could say he’s the championship favorite. His first few outings were not that great with a 33rd and 20th place finish. He began to turn things around in 2009 when he finished ninth and in 2010 with a 10th place finish. In 2011, Sauter won the race and he followed that up with a sixth in 2012 and 16th in 2013 at Homestead. In 2016, Sauter’s championship season, he started 19th and finished third, good enough for him to become champion for the first time ever. He also finished in the same spot last year but he came up short, losing the championship to Christopher Bell.
Final Analysis: All eyes will be on the No. 21 GMS Racing team as they are the favorites to win again. Should Sauter win at Homestead, it would be his seventh win of the year, the most he’s ever had in a season. If he wins, he’ll also be tied with legends of the series such as Todd Bodine and Matt Crafton. He would become the third two-time champion of the series.