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Sauter Wins; Is Back In Championship Round

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 27 2018

Johnny Sauter captured Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The win gives him a berth at Homestead. (File photo courtesy of NASCAR)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Johnny Sauter’s dominating victory in Saturday’s Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway guaranteed him a berth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship battle at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

It’s the third consecutive year the series’ 2016 champion has reached the title race.

“This final round of the playoffs has been pretty awesome for us over the last couple of seasons,” Sauter said. “Obviously, we came up one point short in last year’s championship and we have to make sure we don’t do that again. Texas has been a pretty special place for us and we won Phoenix last year.

“I feel like we’re getting better and better. I feel like we have a good bullet lined up to go to Homestead. It’s not going to be easy. We have to stay humble, keep our nose to the grindstone and don’t let our guard down; get to Homestead and race our butts off.” 

Sauter’s sixth victory this season and the 23rd of his career also provided him with four at the tough short track, the most for any truck series driver.

“That’s pretty awesome,” Sauter said. “To get four wins at a place like this, the history of this place … this is just a special deal.

“My wife always tells me that we have four kids, we need four (Martinsville grandfather) clocks so one day when you tip over we can give each kid a clock. That’s the pressure I always get from Courtney before we come here.”

No one seriously challenged Sauter who won both stages and led three times for 148 of the 200 laps with an old chassis setup the team decided to use since practice was cancelled due to rain.

“To do what we did today was pretty awesome,” the 40-year-old Sauter said. “A lot of things have to go right to win at this place. This is one of the toughest places we go to, not to drive, but to have everything work out. We had really good speed. We were able to drive up from eighth to third right away.

“I felt like you were kinda on ice today. If you overdrove it, you could slide it getting into the corner. I had really good drive up off the corner.  

“I consider myself a short-track guy and I think everybody in here (media center) knows I love short-track racing. There is some stuff that I did today that I typically maybe wouldn’t have done driving-style wise and I have been forcing myself a little bit to do it in the late model. It’s funny how everything kinda applies and works.    ”

Sauter’s Martinsville performance provides GMS Racing with a “great feeling” headed to Homestead.

“We don’t have to worry about it (now),” GMS Racing President Mike Beam said. “Now we can just really prep for Homestead.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 27 2018
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