Johnny Sauter Wins and Clinches Regular Season Title at Bristol

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BRISTOL, TN – RIS – Johnny Sauter passed John Hunter Nemechek with four laps to go and went on to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday night.  The win clinched the season regular season championship.  The win also enabled Matt Crafton to make the playoffs.  Any new winner would have left Crafton out in the cold.

Also advancing to the Playoffs were race runner-up Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger, who clinched the sixth Playoff berth when he took the green flag to start the race.

Those three join race winners Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhodes and Justin Haley in the NCWTS postseason, which starts Aug. 26 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Nemechek passed Sauter for the lead in heavy traffic on Lap 177, but after pulling out to a lead of more than 10 truck-lengths, Nemechek suffered fuel pickup issues late in the race, allowing both Sauter and Friesen to pass him before the finish.

“I’m so proud of this team,” said Sauter, who won for the first time at the .533-mile high-banked concrete track and the 22nd time in his career. “I knew we had a great truck today. What a way to cap off the regular season with a win. I had to race really hard with the 52 (Friesen) there for a while, which was exciting.”

In fact, Sauter and Friesen waged an intense battle for second place, with Freisen briefly gaining the spot in traffic before Sauter prevailed by splitting the middle between Friesen and a lapped truck. That proved to be the winning pass, after Nemechek had his troubles in the last few laps.

“I’ve never won at Bristol before, so I was pumped,” Sauter said. “I’m so lucky I’ve got this group of guys. We won at Bristol—this is the ultimate. For a short track guy, and I consider myself a short-track guy, to get a win at a place like this is so special. I’m just pumped, and I can’t wait to start our championship run.”

Still seeking his first victory in the series, Friesen nevertheless reveled in the competition.

“That was probably the most fun I’ve had all year,” Friesen said. “Bumping and grinding, and no better guys to race with than John Hunter and Johnny. We’ll take it and move on.”

Unofficial Race Results for the 21St Annual Unoh 200 - August 16, 2018 - Bristol Motor Speedway

Fin, Str, Driver, Truck, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 4, Johnny Sauter, No. 21 GMS Fabrication Chevrolet, 200, 2, 2, 3, 58, 5, 58, Running
2) 13, Stewart Friesen, No. 52 We Build America Chevrolet, 200, 7, 4, , , , 46, Running
3) 3, John Hunter Nemechek(i), No. 8 D.A.B. Constructors/Fleetwing Chevrolet, 200, 1, 1, 2, 104, , 0, Running
4) 6, Parker Kligerman, No. 75 Food Country USA Chevrolet, 200, 6, 6, , , , 43, Running
5) 8, Todd Gilliland #, No. 4 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota, 200, , , , , , 32, Running
6) 11, Justin Haley, No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet, 200, 10, 8, , , , 35, Running
7) 2, Ben Rhodes, No. 41 FEI World Equestrian Games Ford, 200, 5, 7, , , , 40, Running
8) 18, Matt Crafton, No. 88 Great Lakes Wood Floors/Menards Ford, 200, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 7, Noah Gragson, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, 200, 9, , 1, 7, , 30, Running
10) 5, Grant Enfinger, No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Ford, 200, 3, 9, , , , 37, Running
11) 16, Dalton Sargeant #, No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet, 200, , 10, , , , 27, Running
12) 10, Ross Chastain(i), No. 38 Niece Equipment Chevrolet, 199, 8, , , , , 0, Running
13) 24, Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 GO TEXAN Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 19, Tanner Thorson, No. 20 Ohio Logistics Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 20, Riley Herbst, No. 54 Advance Auto Parts/NOS/ORCA Toyota, 198, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 25, Codie Rohrbaugh, No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 30, Stefan Parsons, No. 15 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 14, Brett Moffitt, No. 16 Otics USA Inc./Toyota Tsusho Toyota, 198, , 3, , , , 27, Running
19) 15, Cody Coughlin, No. 2 JEGS.com Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 21, Clay Greenfield, No. 68 AMVETS Please Stand Chevrolet, 197, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 23, Austin Hill, No. 02 Young's Building Systems/Randco Chevrolet, 197, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 29, Jordan Anderson, No. 3 Rusty's Off Road Chevrolet, 197, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 32, Wendell Chavous, No. 49 SobrietyNation Chevrolet, 196, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 31, Justin Fontaine #, No. 45 ProMATIC Automation/Superior Essex Chevrolet, 196, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 26, Cory Roper, No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors Inc. Ford, 195, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 9, Jesse Little, No. 97 Wings Over North Georgia/Visit Kingsport Ford, 194, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 27, Korbin Forrister, No. 7 Now Matters More Toyota, 188, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 1, Christopher Bell(i), No. 51 Hunt Brothers Pizza Toyota, 184, 4, 5, 1, 31, , 0, Running
29) 17, Myatt Snider #, No. 13 The Carolina Nut Co. Ford, 161, , , , , , 8, Power 
30) 12, Chad Finley, No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet, 61, , , , , , 7, Engine
31) 22, Scott Lagasse Jr.(i), No. 30 On Point Motorsports Toyota, 24, , , , , , 0, Accident
32) 28, Bayley Currey, No. 83 Chasco Constructors Chevrolet, 13, , , , , , 5, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Total Race Length - 200 Laps - 106.6 Miles
.533 Mile Concrete
Time of Race: 01 Hrs, 16 Mins, 57 Secs.
Average Speed: 83.119 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.236 Seconds
Race Comments: Johnny Sauter won the 21st annual UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, his 22nd victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Prior to the start of the race, the following cars dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: Nos. 3, 22 (unapproved adjustments).
Failed to Qualify: (5) 50 Gray Gaulding(i), 92 Timothy Peters, 33 BJ McLeod(i), 6 Norm Benning, 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb.
Caution Flags: 5 for 38 laps: Laps: 14-19 (No. 30 Spin Frontstretch [None]);
27-31 (No. 04 Spin Turn 2 [None]);
57-66 (Stage 1 Conclusion [45]);
69-73 (No. 4, 97 Incident Turn 4 [68]);
112-123 (No. 13 Incident Frontstretch / Stage 2 Conclusion [22]).
Lead Changes: 6 among 4 drivers: C. Bell(i) 1-31;
J. Nemechek(i) 32-116;
J. Sauter 117-123;
N. Gragson 124-130;
J. Sauter 131-176;
J. Nemechek(i) 177-195;
J. Sauter 196-200.
Duralast GT Brakes ‘Brake in the Race Award’ - Stage 1: John Hunter Nemechek, No. 8 Stage 1
Duralast GT Brakes ?Brake in the Race Award? - Stage 2: John Hunter Nemechek, No. 8 Stage 2
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Ilmor Engines (IE), No. 22 
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2018, Issue 8, Posted 10:28 PM, 08.19.2018