Photo: Luis Torres/Motorsports Tribune

Sauter Parked by NASCAR Over Incident with Austin Hill

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Tempers flared between the only full-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series winners who are in the playoffs entering Sunday’s M&Ms 200 at Iowa Speedway.

Dover winner Johnny Sauter and Daytona winner Austin Hill were involved in a Turn 3 crash on Lap 137, resulting the former being parked by NASCAR.

Both have already had a few exchanges a few laps prior, including Sauter’s No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford F-150 nearly snapping out of control entering Turn 1. Then in Turn 3, Hill ran into the back of Sauter’s truck, turning him around and backed into the wall.

The contact left Sauter, who finished 28th, seething and decided during the caution laps to retaliate Hill in Turn 1 by putting him into the wall. Sauter continued damaging Hill’s No. 16 ARCO Toyota Tundra until he turned him around.

NASCAR had enough of Sauter’s misbehavior and made him park his truck. Meanwhile, Hill went into the pits to repair the wounded truck and once exiting the pits, Hill gestured Sauter’s crew and continued his race without ever losing a lap.

When Sauter exited his battered and parked truck, he had no comment regarding the incident as he walked away from the media and headed to the ThorSport Racing hauler.

Over the radio, Hill’s viewpoint on the ordeal was that Sauter should’ve expected payback after trying to put him into the wall. Sauter on the other hand, has had enough of Hill trying to take him out once again after last Friday at Texas when his strong night was ruined after Hill made contact in Turn 3.

After finishing 12th, Hill acknowledged Sauter’s animosity towards him that’s carried from Texas and simply wasn’t going to put up with his behavior at Iowa.

“It’s hard racing that guy,” Hill explained. “We were racing hard getting into Turn 1. He got into me a little bit and I kind of returned the favor. I don’t race like that. If you’re going to race lake that and try to take me out, I guess he was mad from Texas last week, I’m not going to put up with it.

“I try to race everybody clean, but when they race you like that, I don’t put up with it. We’ll just move on. I have better things to worry about than Johnny. I’m more focused on the championship, so we’re just going to keep working and see what happens.”

As far as both ever having a conversation, Hill said it’s possible but he’ll go about without being keen towards the former champion.

“If he wants to come talk to me about it. He can, but it won’t be nice words.”

Both drivers discussed the matter at the NASCAR hauler and according to Fox Sports’ Alan Cavanna, Sauter inferred his issues from Texas before the race commenced. Additionally, no indications of any further punishment or penalties is expected for the time being.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.