Camping World Trucks - Short Track Veteran Sauter Salvages Points At LORP
Indianapolis, July 30, 2011: Johnny Sauter, after leading practice laps and qualifying sixth on the grid at Lucas Oil Raceway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records/Carrier Chevy Silverado, had an eventful night. Settling into an early second position for 51 laps out of the first 57, he led the next 36 laps to dominate the first half of the race. At one point, Sauter and teammate Matt Crafton were the "one-two punch" in positions until the first pit cycle at lap 81. Coming off pit road in seventh position, he once again moved to the second spot on track behind James Buescher easily for the next 40 laps.
At lap 128, Sauter radioed the crew that he felt he had a flat right front tire - and continued to impressively wheel the No. 13 truck through lap traffic on severe tight conditions as the team waited for weather and debris cautions. Forced to pit at lap 134 for right side tires and fuel as the tire couldn't take any more stress, he emerged in 24th position only to uncover a broken swaybar. An expert wheelman and veteran short track racer, Sauter hung on to bring it home in the 23rd position at the checkers when others may have taken it into the wall. He remains the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship points leader going into Pocono Raceway this week, thanks to laps led and dogged determination by the driver.
"Joe and I were working on a lot of forward bite issues all day in practice, but it wasn't anything that worried us on a short track. The 11 chassis won at Martinsville, and we had high expectations for it here in Indy," said Sauter. "We started out loose off, then went tight in the middle but were good off the corner. We had planned on making it on fuel to the end, but the tire going down just ended the charge. I wanted to win this one really bad for my team owner, Duke Thorson, who started ThorSport Racing here for his first race in 1995. It's just bad luck, and we've had some heartbreak this year. There's nothing more to say than we'll get it back together and focus on Pocono."