By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
A horrible race somehow ended with a top-10 finish for Johnny Sauter. A wreck, a flat tire, and being laps down could not stop Sauter from scoring a 10th-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas 350.
Sauter’s race started to fall apart on the restart after the end of Stage 1. A bad push from Austin Cindric and a missed shift from Sauter sent his No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Silverado spinning in front of the field. His GMS Racing teammate Kaz Grala and team-affiliate Stewart Friesen both had nowhere to go and slammed into Sauter’s passenger door. Despite the damage, he beat the five-minute repair clock and make minimum speed under green.
Sauter’s horrible luck continued as he and Matt Crafton made contact in the final stage of the race. This left Sauter with a cut tire, forcing him to pit road. Despite at one point being four laps down in 19th, he fought back to finish 10th, one lap down.
GMS Racing took to Twitter, stating that Sauter had an eventful day to say the least,
— GMS Racing (@GMSRacingLLC) October 1, 2017
Even with the damage from the first incident, Sauter still managed to finish ninth at the end of Stage 2. A sign of the speed that his truck once had was seen in his second-place finish in Stage 1.
This was Sauter’s 15th top-10 finish this season. Despite his top-10 finish, Sauter slips from second to fourth in points, 54 behind points leader Christopher Bell. He is also 24-points ahead of the cutoff for the Round of Six with just one race left at Talladega Superspeedway before elimination.
The finish also continues Sauter’s streak of running at the finish of races in the Truck Series. He has finished all 18 races this season under power. Sauter’s streak without a DNF extends all the way back to the Spring Martinsville race in 2016, 38 races ago.
Now Sauter and his GMS Racing team will have to avoid trouble at the unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway if they want to advance to the Round of Six.