Johnny Sauter comes up short for first win of the season

Johnny Sauter was eagered to get back in to victory lane this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway after having a strong 2018 season.

After placing fifth in both NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions, it appeared Sauter would have the truck to contend for the win. When qualifying was canceled, he started in the 12th position based on the rule book.

As the race started, Sauter had a strong truck and remained in the top five for Stage 1 by finishing fourth. Stage 2 saw the same finishing position as well.

After the Stage 3 restart with 43 to go, Sauter led for 15 laps before being passed by eventual race winner, Kyle Busch.

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Sauter was trying all he could to catch Busch, but it wasn’t enough. However, a timely caution came for Sauter and he had another chance. But the rains came, the fog got heavy and seeing the race go back to green did not look promising.

However, NASCAR got the track dried and Sauter was ecstatic for another shot. He gave it all he could but fell .932 seconds short of the win, finishing in second place.

“I was trying my damnest,” Sauter told MRN Radio. “I honestly was hoping he (Kyle Busch) was going to spin out off the nose of my truck and he did a great job of blocking there. If I went to the top, I wouldn’t have had enough momentum.”

“In hindsight, when I go watch the replay, I might think differently but so proud of everyone of Thorsport, I can’t thank them enough.”

With a second place finish, it was Sauter’s 103rd top five finish of his career.

“I really wanted to deliver a win tonight,” Sauter told MRN Radio. “We just didn’t get it done. I might feel differently of what I could have done at the end there. We had a shot. NASCAR did the right thing there to go back green.”

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