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NASCAR Truck: Johnny Sauter wins at Bristol, claims regular season title

BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 16: Johnny Sauter, driver of the #21 GMS Fabrication Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UHOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 16, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Johnny Sauter was a winner twice over at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Thursday night. When he took the green flag, he clinched the honor of 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular-season champion. When he took the checkered flag, he was up front for the win of the UNOH 200. It was his first-career win at Bristol but his series-leading fifth win of the 2018 Truck Series season.

“I‘m so proud of this team,” Sauter said. “I knew we had a great truck today. What a way to cap off the regular season with a win. I had to race really hard with the 52 (Stewart Friesen) there for a while, which was exciting.”

Friesen took runner-up honors for the third time this season and the fourth time in the Truck Series career.

“That was probably the most fun I‘ve had all year,” Friesen said. “Bumping and grinding, and no better guys to race with than John Hunter (Nemechek)  and Johnny. We‘ll take it and move on.”

John Hunter Nemechek finished third after leading a race-high 104 laps of the 200-lap race, including laps 55 and 110 for two stage wins.

The Bristol race was the final race of the Truck Series regular season, so the eight-driver playoff field was set to include five race winners, Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and Ben Rhodes, along with Friesen, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger, who got in on points. Crafton and Enfinger also finished in the top-10, in eighth and 10th, respectively.

Christopher Bell, as a fill-in for the ill Harrison Burton, started on the pole and led the first 31 laps before Nemechek took his first lead on lap 32. When most of the race field pitted between the first two stages, Nemechek stayed out, instead opting to wait until the end of the second stage to make his first trip down pit road.

Sauter got out of the pits first after the second stage, while Nemechek was back to fourth for the restart. Gragson took a brief lead on the restart, but Sauter was back up front on lap 131.

Nemechek led one last time on lap 177, but on lap 196, Sauter retook the top spot, and Friesen followed him by Nemechek for second.

Parker Kligerman and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-five. Other top-10 finishers included Haley in sixth, Rhodes seventh and Gragson ninth.

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Posted by on August 17, 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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