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NASCAR Truck: Johnny Sauter notches win at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 18: Johnny Sauter, driver of the #21 ISM Connect Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Johnny Sauter led over half of the 137-lap NC Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Friday night, leading 71 laps en route to his third win in the seven races, so far, of 2018.

“We won at Charlotte!” Sauter exclaimed to his team via radio after the race. “This is the biggest of my life.”

Despite his dominance of Friday night’s race and his dominance of the 2018 season, to date, Friday night’s race marked Sauter’s first win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“This is a tough place,” Sauter said in victory lane. “Everyone wants to win here. I never thought I’d win here. To win this race is just super special. I never thought 40 (years old) would be so good. This is the biggest race of my career, and I’ve won a lot of big races. We kept making adjustments on the truck all night and made it better and better.”

Kyle Busch took runner-up honors, despite problems on pit road throughout the race.

“If my pit crew did not lose me six, seven spots and, then, have penalties and have to restart at the back every single time,” Busch said during his post-race media availability. “We passed the most trucks, but if you pass the most trucks, it doesn’t matter if you can’t win the thing where you need to be, restart where you need to be. Really pathetic night on pit road. These trucks are terrible in traffic. You can’t pass. Splitter game is horrendous. They want flat splitters, and you put flat splitters on these things and they plow.”

A slow stop during a lap-21 caution put Busch in 16th for a restart. Then, during lap-60 and lap-81 cautions, Busch was assessed pit-road penalties, both for his crew going over the pit wall too soon.

Brandon Jones finished third, Brett Moffitt fourth, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five

After rain forced the cancellation of qualifying, Sauter started on the pole and led the first nine laps before giving way to Noah Gragson. He led multiple times throughout the race, claiming his final lead just before a caution that came out on lap 88.

Aside from Sauter, Gragson, Moffitt and John Hunter Nemechek were the other three drivers to lead multiple laps, but none of them led more than 30 circuits. Moffit was closest to the 30 laps-led mark, running up front for 28 laps. Moffit and Nemechek were the stage winners, with Moffitt leading at the end of the first 30-lap stage and Nemechek the frontrunner at lap 60.

One final caution for Austin Wayne Self on lap 118 resulted in a restart with 10 laps to go with Sauter in the lead and Busch in third. By the checkered flag, Busch had moved into second.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Stewart Friesen, Parker Kligerman, Gragson, Nemechek and Todd Gilliland.

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Posted by on May 19, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Camping World Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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