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Aug 17, 2014 - 07:12 AM
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2014 Michigan: Johnny Sauter NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Aug 17, 2014 - 07:09 AM
2014 Michigan: Johnny Sauter NASCAR Truck Race Recap

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rolled into the Irish Hills of Michigan for the 12th stop on the 2014 schedule at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday. Johnny Sauter, who was paired with veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley for the first time this season, turned a track-best qualifying effort into his first win at the 2-mile oval, winning the 15th annual Careers for Veterans 200. The win marks the ThorSport Racing driver's first NCWTS victory of 2014 and his 10th career victory in 142 NCWTS starts.


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Starting fifth, the Necedah, Wisc. native made his first stop of the afternoon on lap 12, under the event's only caution, for fuel and a chassis adjustment to help a "tight on exit" handling condition. When racing resumed on lap 14, the Nextant Aerospace/Curb Records Toyota Tundra was scored eighth. Early in the ensuing run, Sauter complained of a tight Toyota Tundra, but managed to work his way up to the fourth position before making a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 51 for four tires and fuel. The No. 98 Tundra returned to the racing surface in the third position and proved that his No. 98 machine was strong when he took over the top spot on lap 76.

In pure Michigan style, the 100-lap event would come down to fuel mileage, and with a pit strategy call by Hensley, Sauter would be in the thick of the hunt with teammate Matt Crafton. Sauter led 16 laps before being forced down pit road for three seconds of fuel, relinquishing the lead to Crafton on lap 92. Crafton, who had a 31 second lead on Sauter, eventually had to give up the lead four laps later for a splash-and-go. As the No. 88 exited pit road, Sauter passed him on the race track in the exit of Turn 2 and never looked back, crossing the finish line with a .43 second margin of victory.

Johnny Sauter won the 15th annual Careers for Veterans 200, his 10th victory in 142 NCWTS races
This was Sauter's first victory in six starts at Michigan International Speedway and his first win of the 2014 season
The ThorSport Racing driver led the Careers for Veterans 200 three times for 21 laps
Sauter has now won at least one race in six consecutive seasons in the NCWTS
In 12 starts in 2014, Sauter has six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes
Sauter leads the NCWTS driver point standings for the second time this season by nine points over teammate Matt Crafton. The 98 also takes over the owner point standings by two points over the No. 51.

Quote - Johnny Sauter:
"We had a great Tundra -- especially on long runs. I think we were third or fourth at the time and I told them, 'I don't know what the air pressures are or what,' but our Toyota was really, really strong on that middle run. Whatever adjustments Jeff Hensley made, they were the right ones. We ran the last 40 laps on the floor, wide-open. I'm just proud of the effort from everybody at ThorSport. Having Jeff (Hensley) come over here, winning on his first race, it's unreal. This is a great day for us. This puts us in the point's lead, just halfway through the season -- with some really good races coming up for us. I'm going to relish in this win because this has been a tough, tough race track for me throughout my career. My dad always said, 'that place is easy,' but I never felt that way, until today. When you have a truck like this - it was just awesome."

Practice: 4th
Final Practice: 4th
Qualifying: 5th

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