logo



Sauter dedicates Truck Series win at Daytona to crew chief

Associated Press • Feb 16, 2018 at 11:14 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Johnny Sauter wanted to win this race, maybe as badly as any other.

Sauter won the season-opening NASCAR Truck Series race Friday night and dedicated it to crew chief Joe Shear Jr., whose wife died unexpectedly in late December.

“I didn’t have one nerve,” said Sauter, who finished second in points in 2017. “I just felt like this was our day.”

The team felt like it had some help. Chandra Shear died Dec. 28 at her home in Mooresville, North Carolina, age 43.

“This is very, very, very special here,” Shear said. “She was in love with racing as much as I was. She was looking over us and helped us to this win. ... I’ll never forget this one.”

Neither will Sauter, who notched his series-leading third victory at the famed track and made it three in a row for GMS Racing at Daytona. Sauter won in 2016, and Kaz Grala did the same last year.

Sauter used a big run to pass David Gilliland for the lead with eight laps to go and then held off Justin Haley, Joe Nemechek, Ben Rhodes and Scott Lagasse Jr. None of those chasers provided much of a challenge down the stretch.

It was Sauter’s 18th victory in 222 starts in the Truck Series. He also won at Daytona in 2013.

But this one was for Shear, who said coming to Daytona “kept me sane.”

“Getting back on the road and getting back to work was the biggest thing that kept me going,” Shear said. “It’s sad and I think about her all the time.”

Sauter took the No. 21 Chevrolet to victory lane after a series of late crashes wiped out about half the 32-truck field. Only 15 trucks finished on the lead lap, and only nine of those were in the lead pack in the closing laps.

The single-file racing made it considerably easier for Sauter to hold off the competition.

Neither Grala nor defending series champion Christopher Bell was in the race. Grala and Bell moved up to the Xfinity Series this season.

Jennifer Jo Cobb took the hardest hit of the night. Cobb slammed into an inside retaining wall, one protected by energy-absorbing barriers, at close to full speed. Her No. 10 Chevrolet broke upon impact, igniting a brief fire. Cobb climbed out holding her left arm. She was treated and eventually released from the infield care center.

Grant Enfinger started the multi-truck melee when his No. 98 Ford got loose and turned in front of a crowded pack. Lagasse, Dalton Sargeant and Scott Stenzel also were involved.

NASCAR Camping World Truck-NextEra Energy Resources 250 Results

Saturday

At Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Lap length: 2.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 100 laps, 0 rating, 59 points.

2. (12) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 40.

3. (13) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 34.

4. (24) Ben Rhodes, Ford, 100, 0, 33.

5. (18) Scott Lagasse Jr, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 0.

6. (7) Grant Enfinger, Ford, 100, 0, 37.

7. (8) Spencer Davis, Toyota, 100, 0, 31.

8. (4) Dalton Sargeant, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 37.

9. (28) Jordan Anderson, Toyota, 100, 0, 28.

10. (17) Justin Fontaine, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 27.

11. (11) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 26.

12. (30) Wendell Chavous, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 25.

13. (25) Robby Lyons, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 24.

14. (29) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 23.

15. (31) Scott Stenzel, Chevrolet, 100, 0, 22.

16. (19) Korbin Forrister, Toyota, 99, 0, 24.

17. (10) Cody Coughlin, Chevrolet, 99, 0, 28.

18. (23) Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, 99, 0, 19.

19. (6) Matt Crafton, Ford, 97, 0, 27.

20. (15) Austin Wayne Self, Toyota, 97, 0, 17.

21. (1) David Gilliland, Toyota, 95, 0, 34.

22. (3) Clay Greenfield, Chevrolet, accident, 81, 0, 22.

23. (5) Noah Gragson, Toyota, accident, 79, 0, 16.

24. (20) Myatt Snider, Ford, accident, 73, 0, 17.

25. (14) John Hunter Nemechek, Chevrolet, accident, 72, 0, 0.

26. (22) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, accident, 72, 0, 11.

27. (9) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, accident, 72, 0, 19.

28. (26) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, accident, 66, 0, 13.

29. (21) Chris Fontaine, Toyota, electrical, 65, 0, 8.

30. (16) Bo Le Mastus, Toyota, accident, 63, 0, 7.

31. (27) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, accident, 54, 0, 6.

32. (32) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, engine, 2, 0, 5.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 120.378 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 4 minutes, 36 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.098 seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 35 laps.

Lead Changes: 21 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D.Gilliland 1-2; J.Sauter 3-7; D.Gilliland 8-14; J.Sauter 15-16; D.Gilliland 17-22; J.Anderson 23; K.Forrister 24-25; N.Gragson 26; J.Sauter 27-42; S.Friesen 43; D.Gilliland 44-46; D.Sargeant 47; G.Enfinger 48; D.Sargeant 49; G.Enfinger 50; Joh.Nemechek 51-58; J.Sauter 59-65; Joh.Nemechek 66-70; D.Gilliland 71-81; J.Haley 82-90; D.Gilliland 91; J.Sauter 92-100

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): J.Sauter, 5 times for 34 laps; D.Gilliland, 6 times for 24 laps; Joh.Nemechek, 2 times for 11 laps; J.Haley, 1 time for 8 laps; K.Forrister, 1 time for 1 lap; G.Enfinger, 2 times for 0 laps; D.Sargeant, 2 times for 0 laps; J.Anderson, 1 time for 0 laps; S.Friesen, 1 time for 0 laps; N.Gragson, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: J.Sauter, 1.

Top 10 in Points: 1. J.Sauter, 59; 2. J.Haley, 40; 3. G.Enfinger, 37; 4. D.Sargeant, 37; 5. D.Gilliland, 34; 6. Joe.Nemechek, 34; 7. B.Rhodes, 33; 8. S.Davis, 31; 9. J.Anderson, 28; 10. C.Coughlin, 28.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos