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NASCAR Truck: Johnny Sauter wins at Dover

DOVER, DE – MAY 03: Johnny Sauter, driver of the #21 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 3, 2018 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After starting side-by-side on the front row and claiming stage wins in each of the 45-lap stages that made up the first 90 laps, Johnny Sauter and Noah Gragson waged a physical battle back-and-forth after a restart with 13 laps remaining in the 200-lap scheduled distance of the JEGS 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Friday evening. Gragson took the lead from Sauter soon after the restart, but as the top-two trucks approached the white flag, Gragson wound up spinning into the wall and Sauter was back in the lead. Sauter, then, held-off former teammate Matt Crafton on the overtime restart to claim his second win of the season. Sauter also won the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February. Friday’s win also was his second-consecutive win at Dover.

“Extremely disappointed in myself,” Gragson said. “It was just a racing deal, not the way I try to race people. I take full responsibility in that. It was 100 percent my fault. Just unacceptable on my part. All I could think about was the mistake I made. I’m just devastated.”

Crafton took runner-up honors, Justin Haley was third, David Gilliland fourth, and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-five.

Gilliland’s top-five came in the first NASCAR-sanctioned race in which he competed against his son, Todd Gilliland. The younger Gilliland was running third, ahead of his father, when he suffered a dead battery during a caution inside the final 20 laps. He wound up 10th at the finish.

After starting on the pole, Gragson led the first 49 laps, including a stage-one win, before Parker Kligerman got off pit road first with a fuel-only pit stop. Kligerman had pitted for tires during a lap-15 caution. Sauter was second to Kligerman out of the pits, while Gragson came out eighth after and issue getting one of the tires on his car.

Sauter took his first lead from Kligerman on lap 61 and led most of the remaining laps. Kligerman wound up black-flagged near the end of the second stage as a result of his truck leaking oil and retired from the race.

After Sauter took the stage-two win under caution, Jesse Little got up to second on the restart at the beginning of the final stage. Around lap 120, Little took a brief lead, but Sauter quickly got back by him to retake his spot up front.

Gilliland beat Sauter out of the pits during a lap-156 yellow flag, but Sauter restarted with the lead after Gilliland was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. Three of the top-five out of the pits during the caution were penalized for pit-road infractions — Gilliland and Burton for uncontrolled tires and Little for pitting outside his pit box.

After the penalties, Gragson was back up to second.

“Well, you just never give up,” Sauter said. “We had to work for this one today. I had a good run on him (Gragson), there, and he ran me up. I was like, okay, you just gave me the green light to be aggressive, but that was just racing, right there.”
Other top-10 finishers included Cody Coughlin in sixth, Joe Nemechek in seventh, Ben Rhodes in eighth, and Little in ninth.

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Posted by on May 5, 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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