Sauter wins Trucks race at Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)
Johnny Sauter took the checkered flag again at Texas, and this time got the NASCAR Truck Series victory.
Sauter passed teammate Matt Crafton for the lead with 22 laps left Friday night, and went on to become the seventh driver to win in the first seven races.
It was at Texas last June when Sauter pulled away on a final restart with two laps left before being black-flagged by NASCAR. He took the checkered flag that night, but was dropped to 22nd after going from the outside lane to inside in front of Ron Hornaday Jr. before crossing the start-finish line on the restart.
Sauter's fifth career victory was his first since the rain-shortened season finale at Homestead last November after he had finished 24th or wore in five of the six races this season. He led twice for 41 laps in his Toyota.
Crafton finished second ahead of Joey Coulter, who got his career-best finish on his 22nd birthday in the No. 22 Chevrolet.
The 1-2 finish was the first for ThorSport Racing since September 2009.
Crafton had taken the lead during the race's seventh caution, when front-runners James Buescher and Ty Dillon made contact after running side-by-side for several laps. Dillon appeared to get loose when he tried to make a move around Buescher.
It was only a couple of laps after the final restart when Sauter took the lead.
Series points leader Justin Lofton started on the pole by owners points after qualifying was wiped out by rain. He was leading but out of synch with other trucks on fuel when he had to come in after 126 laps.
Right as he was coming out of the pits, a caution came out and he was 20th on the restart with 33 laps to go.
Dillon was on the inside and led Buescher, who pulled up outside on the backstretch. They stayed side-by-side for several laps before Dillon appeared to get loose and they made contact three laps later.
Todd Bodine, a six-time winner at Texas, was coming off a victory at Dover last week. But his race was done after 32 laps because of a blown engine.