Sauter Earns Spot in Chase Finale with Third-Career Martinsville Win

Start: 5th
Finish: 1st
Points Position: 1st

Johnny Sauter and the No. 21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet team led 50 laps en route to a win at Martinsville Speedway in the Texas Roadhouse 200. The win, Sauter’s second of the season and third at the Virginia short track, guarantees him a spot in the Championship Four round of the Chase for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship.

Sauter started Saturday’s event from the fifth position and quickly worked his way into third. By lap 19, he was in second and chasing down the leader. The No. 21 moved into the lead for the first time on lap 28 and remained there until the first caution of the day on lap 51. Sauter reported to crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., that the Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet got loose throughout a run and needed more traction. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis and air pressure adjustment, returning to the track in the third position. Sauter told the team he wanted to be conservative with his brakes after leading early. He rode in the third position for over 100 laps, pitting twice more for tires and fuel, before retaking the lead with 25 laps to go. He endured one additional caution and held off Chase Elliott in the final laps to advance into the final round of the Chase.

JOHNNY SAUTER QUOTE:
“To come to a place that has been really kind to me over the years and get the win is extra special. We all know what’s on the line as far as the championship. At the beginning of the year that’s your ultimate goal: to get to Miami at the end and race for a title. I had some brake trouble early on and had to be conservative for about a hundred laps. I knew I had a better truck than what I was showing, but I had to take care of it. When we got to about 40 laps to go I knew we could make it to the end and I was ready to go. It was a great team effort and I’m so proud of everyone at GMS Racing.”

NEXT RACE:
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the track on November 4 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia.

during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway on October 29, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia.

MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 29:  Johnny Sauter, driver of the #21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Chase Elliott, driver of the #71 NAPA Auto Parts/Valvoline Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway on October 29, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 29:  Johnny Sauter, driver of the #21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout in front of his team after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway on October 29, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)