JOHNNY SAUTER TALLADEGA RACE RECAP
Driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb/Carrier Chevy Silverado
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES * TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY * COCA-COLA 250 PRESENTED BY FRED’S
Sauter Makes the Championship Case – “Winners Never Quit”
TALLADEGA, Ala. (October 23, 2011) – Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records/Carrier Chevy Silverado, proved it was guts for glory at Talladega’s famed superspeedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday afternoon. After an early unavoidable incident during experimental two-car tandem racing with teammate Matt Crafton, Sauter and team 13 rallied from three laps down to a 15th place lead lap finish. The move not only showed Sauter’s undeniable leadership, but a signature grit that earned kudos from the SPEED broadcast team, garage, teammates and others. Dodge also named him the “Guts & Glory” award recipient for the day, due to his dogged determination on track.
Sauter, who started the race in 20th position after experiencing transmission challenges during the end of the sole practice session, immediately dropped to the back of the pack with Crafton as the green flag fell. Successfully drafting, they proved to be the only other team than KHI to run fastest tandem laps of any NCWTS team for several laps. At lap 30, the 16 truck just ahead of the team cut a tire, leaving Crafton no choice but to lift & dive, heading him into the wall; and Sauter nowhere to go himself. After smart repair strategy from crew chief Joe Shear brought the truck down pit road during caution runs, the hammers came out & truck put back on track to run up to 2 tenths faster laps than the leaders – as he was three laps down.
“What a day, but Talladega is such a place of chance – I’ve said it all week,” said Sauter. “I’m first and foremost sorry to Crafton – we were working really well together in the tandem, and he just got collected. Nobody wants to go home with a junked truck. We were able to get the Lucky Dog there after some major repairs on pit road, and teaming up with Brendan, I told him with 10 to go that I’d push us all the way.”
Sauter paired up with the 62 truck of Brendan Gaughan late in the race to run blistering-fast laps, bringing him back slowly but surely to the lead lap after a late caution brought him the Lucky Dog award. With 10 to go, Sauter charged 10 spots through the pack to end up 15th and on the lead lap at the checkered flag.
In a post-race interview with Hermie Sadler, upon being asked if he’s “got the moxxy” for the final three races, Sauter again displayed his signature “never quit” determination. “Now it’s time to go – I’m going to make that decision for our team. We’ve got to give it everything these last three races and never quit. That’s how championships are won, just look at how Hornaday is charging here at the end of the season. It’s how you’ve got to race right now. We’re going to be taking some chances from here on out and going aggressive. Martinsville, we won earlier this year; Texas, we had one of the strongest trucks in the field; and Homestead last year, we about won. So three very strong racetracks for us. We’ve got to race every single one of them hard and try to win.”
Sauter sits in third position in driver points after Talladega – just fourteen points out of the lead in the heavy battle for the 2011 championship title. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the site of Sauter’s sentimental April Victory Lane visit – Martinsville Speedway – next week as the points battle continues.
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Race: 22 of 25
Championship Point Standings: 3rd (-14)
Up Next on the Truck Series Schedule:
Track: Martinsville Speedway
Event Name: Kroger 200
Broadcast: SPEED at 4pmEST