Catchfence


May 19, 2013
Sunday
Johnny Sauter victimized at Charlotte, drops in points
Press Release

Johnny Sauter
Johnny Sauter
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 17, 2013) — Johnny Sauter’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ championship hopes took a serious lick Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, by way of a 28th-place Did Not Finish caused by a seemingly deliberate wreck.

Sauter, who had rebounded to fifth place with 31 laps to go after nearly going a lap down due to a lengthy pit stop to open the No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota’s hood to make a severe chassis adjustment, was knocked out of the race on the 115th lap when defending series champion James Buescher ran into the back of Sauter’s truck exiting Turn 4 and knocked it into the outside wall.

Sauter crossed the start/finish line, then limped the truck through the quarter-mile short track on Charlotte’s frontstretch and directly into the garage area to retire with extensive damage.

The poor finish broke a string of four consecutive top-five finishes — including winning the first two races of the season — by Sauter and his team. Even worse, it dropped him from a tie for second in the standings, 13 points behind ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton, to sixth, 37 points behind.

Sauter had practiced fairly well, turning 75 laps in the three sessions spread across Thursday and Friday. But in qualifying he was the middle of three ThorSport Toyotas, lining up two spots, in 16th, behind Crafton, who was 14th. They were well ahead of teammate Todd Bodine, who started 32nd.

Sauter actually started 15th when rookie German Quiroga, who qualified 10th, had to drop to the rear of the field on the pace laps, for the start. But Sauter was unable to advance very far before he began dropping back before he made a pit stop under the second yellow, at lap 28, when his crew, led by a pair of interim crew chiefs, 2013 truck chief Jesse Saunders and Dan LeMasters, who had served as Sauter’s truck chief for Sauter’s first four years with ThorSport, made their major front-end adjustment.

Sauter fell back to 28th for the restart at lap 30, but it appeared to make his truck much better. Sauter drove back into the top 10 in less than 40 laps, and remained there until a restart at lap 109, with 25 laps remaining.

Sauter was fifth under that yellow flag but on the restart the field shuffled-up and Sauter got caught in the middle of a three-wide scrum in which he made contact with Dakoda Armstrong’s truck on his right and Darrell Wallace Jr.’s truck on his left. Armstrong then appeared to move down onto Sauter’s truck, which caused it to lose control and pinch into Buescher’s truck, which was on the outside in the next row.

Less than five laps later, Buescher drove into the back of Sauter and ended his race. Sauter, when he was in fifth, was in a position to retake the championship lead he’d lost to Crafton, who was then running 18th. Buescher went on to finish sixth and is unofficially fifth in the standings, six points ahead of Sauter.

The Truck Series is now off for 12 days until it resumes at Dover International Speedway, with practice on Thursday, May 30.

ABOUT THE CAROLINA NUT CO.:

Using unique handcrafted family recipes, The Carolina Nut Co. creates gourmet snacks and flavored nuts that are sure to please every nut lover. The Carolina Nut Co. is family-owned and located in Henderson, N.C. We have been creating delicious gourmet nuts and flavored nuts for more than 60 years. Our unique flavors and high-quality products are making their way across the country. Please keep an eye out for us at your local retailer!

ABOUT CURB RECORDS:

Curb Records is one of the world’s leading independent music companies. Owned and operated by Mike Curb since 1962, Curb Records has achieved 375 Billboard number one records, nearly twelve hundred Billboard Top Ten records and charted just under four thousand Billboard Records. Today’s roster includes some of the top names in Country, Christian and Pop/Rock music. Curb Records was honored as Billboard Magazine’s 2001 Country Music Label of the Year and Radio & Records Magazine’s 2005 Overall Gold Label of the Year. For more information, visit www.curb.com.

ABOUT THORSPORT RACING:

ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. Thorsport, which has run full-season Truck Series schedules annually beginning in 1998, in 2013 will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by Matt Crafton, the No, 98 Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 SealMaster Toyota Tundra driven by Todd Bodine in the Truck Series and the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota Camry driven by Frank Kimmel in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

Source: ThorSport Racing Press Release




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