Johnny Sauter Hopes Michigan Run Will Provide A Championship Sparkby Kyle Pokrefky August 15, 2015 0 comments
BROOKLYN, Mich. — Through the first 12 races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Johnny Sauter had only led 22 laps and seemed to be losing touch with the championship leaders.
Following a strong fourth-place run at Michigan that featured the driver of the No. 98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota spending a season-high 24 laps in the lead, Sauter has started heading down the path towards clawing his way back into the championship hunt.
Coming off of his second consecutive top-six finish after three disastrous results of 12th or worse, the 10-time race winner in the Camping World Truck Series ranks has closed from being 71 points out of the lead after Eldora to 53 points out with 10 races left in the season.
While a potentially race-winning run was wounded by a pit road miscue late in the race, Sauter says that he hopes his stout run will serve as a catalyst for making the current three-driver battle at the top of the drivers standings a four-way fight.
“I hope so. We’re trying as hard as we can,” Sauter told The Fourth Turn. “I thought we had one today, I thought we had the best truck – especially on long run stuff. It was good. It’s easy to get down in this business when you’re not running the way you think you should. Hopefully this is something that’ll help us get going.”
The Necedah, Wisc. native is excited leaving Michigan as he heads into friendly territory for this upcoming Wednesday’s race, the UNOH 200, in the shape of Bristol Motor Speedway.
Despite being winless at the track, Sauter is coming off of respective fourth and fifth-place finishes at the half-mile concrete oval in 2013 and 2014 and believes that he can carry his momentum that started at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago into ‘The Last Great Colosseum.’
“I love Bristol,” Sauter said. “It’s one of my favorite race tracks. I’ve never won there, but we’ve always been consistent there. Hopefully, we can go there and have a good run. I don’t see any reason why we can’t go there and be competitive all day.”
The UNOH 200 will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m ET.
Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway