Two-time Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter finally scored a win in the 2019 Truck Series season after starting second and taking the lead with 31 to go. However, it didn’t quite look that way earlier in the race as the Wisconsin driver had an ignition issue after trying to save fuel.
“Well I was trying to figure out why it (truck) wouldn’t start,” Sauter told MRN Radio. “I looked at the ignition switch right away and it was up, I just couldn’t get it to fire. I played with the switch on the steering wheel, killswitch and that didn’t do anything, so I thought what the hell? We’ll try to get it running. I just can’t thank all of these guys enough at ThorSport Racing. Our Ford F-150 was awesome. Tenda Heel, Joe and all of these guys at ThorSport, this was a big win. Three in a row at a place like this, that’s saying something. I can remember being in the lounge yesterday before the start of practice and I saw the victory lane hat bag, and I thought, hell, why not? Just can’t thank Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) enough. A couple of months ago didn’t know if we’d be here racing, so it’s pretty special.”
The race sure didn’t start out that way. Moffitt sat on the pole and completly dominated Stage 1 with very little incident. It was Moffitt’s first stage win of the year and there were only 17 trucks on the lead lap.
During the pit stops, however, there were some penalties handed out. Tyler Ankrum (uncontrolled tire), Todd Gilliland (too fast), Derek Kraus (safety violation), and Joe Nemechek (too fast).
Stage 2 was when we saw Sauter out front, as he took the lead on Lap 81 after Moffitt encountered lap traffic which allowed Sauter to go on by.
Not much else happened in that stage and Sauter went on to win Stage 2. However, his ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton had a different story, as he was a facing a plug wire that fell off but it was eventually fixed. The ignition issue came into play for Sauter as well.
With 102 to go for the restart in Stage 3, ARCA champion, Sheldon Creed, took the lead. There were some incidents that took place in this stage.
Jesse Little had a flat right rear tire off Turn 4 and barely lost it. A caution flew on lap 110 with 90 to go for Korbin Forrister who wrecked on the frontstretch.
There was a breathtaking moment with 83 to go on the restart, as Moffitt, Creed and Harrison Burton made it three wide for first. However, Creed came out on top and retained his lead.
Jesse Little’s day went from bad to worse, as he suffered a broken track bar and was done for the day.
With many drivers short on fuel should a caution not come out for the rest of the race, the drivers were able to catch a break when the caution came out with 47 to go for Austin Wayne Self who wrecked off Turn 4.
On the restart with 41 to go, another caution broke out when Sheldon Creed wrecked on the backstretch after getting loose and collecting Todd Gilliland who got through, but suffered damage.
A late race caution came with 10 to go for Brennan Poole, but even with the late caution, nobody could touch Sauter and he went on to win his third consecutive race at Dover, thus becoming the first driver to do so.
Despite his ignition issue early on, the No. 13 ThorSport Racing driver explained how special this win was for him.
“Well I knew after Atlanta we were going to be able to race for wins,” Sauter continued in his post-race interview with MRN Radio. “At Martinsville, we had the truck to beat and it went away from us. People like Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) are gold. You don’t encounter too many people like that throughout your life. You know when we first had the conservation, I didn’t know how it was going to go, honestly. Like I said, you don’t encounter people like that very often. All of these guys, I worked with a lot of these guys with ThorSport in the past, some of them are new, youthful a lot of them and got some experience on the team as well. Just hats off to everyone at ThorSport Racing, fab shop, finish fab, it’s a team effort. These races are won during the week, not during the weekend and that showed today.”
Sauter led twice for 43 laps and became the first driver in the Truck Series to win three in a row at Dover.
There were 12 lead changes among six drivers.
Up next: The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series heads to Kansas Speedway next Friday, May 11 for the Digital Ally 250.
Gander Outdoors Truck Series Race Number 6
Race Results for the 20th Annual JEGS 200 – Friday, May 3, 2019
Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE – 1. – Mile Concrete
Total Race Length – 200 Laps – 200. Miles
|1||2||13||Johnny Sauter||Tenda Heal Ford||200||2||1||59||Running|
|2||1||24||Brett Moffitt||ISM Connect Chevrolet||200||1||3||53||Running|
|3||9||18||Harrison Burton #||Safelite AutoGlass Toyota||200||5||6||45||Running|
|4||6||98||Grant Enfinger||Champion Power Equipment Ford||200||4||4||47||Running|
|5||5||88||Matt Crafton||Shasta/Menards Ford||200||10||0||33||Running|
|6||11||99||Ben Rhodes||Carolina Nut Ford||200||0||8||34||Running|
|7||12||16||Austin Hill||Toyota Racing Development Toyota||200||7||5||40||Running|
|8||15||19||Derek Kraus||ENEOS/NAPA Filters Toyota||200||0||0||29||Running|
|9||10||17||Tyler Ankrum #||May’s Hawaii Toyota||200||8||0||31||Running|
|10||16||45||Ross Chastain(i)||Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet||200||0||10||0||Running|
|11||7||46||Raphael Lessard||Spectra Premium Toyota||200||9||0||28||Running|
|13||19||51||Brandon Jones(i)||Chigo/Menards Toyota||200||0||9||0||Running|
|14||18||12||Gus Dean #||OverkillRV.com Chevrolet||200||0||0||23||Running|
|15||14||4||Todd Gilliland||Mobil 1 Toyota||200||0||0||22||Running|
|16||32||33||Ryan Sieg(i)||Night Owl Contractors Chevrolet||198||0||0||0||Running|
|17||20||54||Natalie Decker||N29 Technologies LLC Toyota||197||0||0||20||Running|
|18||23||2||Tyler Dippel #||Jersey Filmmaker Chevrolet||197||0||0||19||Running|
|19||17||22||Austin Wayne Self||Go TEXAN/AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet||197||0||0||18||Running|
|20||25||56||Tyler Hill||Southern Maryland Crane Rentals Chevrolet||197||0||0||17||Running|
|21||22||3||Jordan Anderson||Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet||196||0||0||16||Running|
|22||27||20||Spencer Boyd||DLX Mattresses Chevrolet||192||0||0||15||Running|
|24||30||49||Ray Ciccarelli||CMI Motorsports Chevrolet||188||0||0||13||Running|
|25||28||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb||Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet||186||0||0||12||Running|
|27||3||2||Sheldon Creed #||Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet||160||3||2||27||Accident|
|28||24||44||Reid Wilson||TruNorth.Paul Jr Designs Chevrolet||140||0||0||9||Alternator|
|29||13||97||Jesse Little||JJL Motorsports Ford||115||0||7||12||Track Bar|
|30||26||7||Korbin Forrister||All Out Toyota||108||0||0||7||Accident|
|31||29||34||Josh Reaume||Surface Prep Supply Chevrolet||51||0||0||6||Too Slow|
|32||31||6||Norm Benning||H&H Transport Chevrolet||28||0||0||5||Too Slow|