Photo: Brian Eberly/Motorsports Tribune

Tough Rookie Campaign Continues for Sargeant at Gateway

By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer

MADISON, Ill. — Last season, Dalton Sargeant went to victory lane three times and recorded 10 top-five results in the ARCA Racing Series en route to a second-place finish in the championship standings. His rookie campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2018 started with two top-ten finishes in the first three races, but it’s been a struggle since then for Sargeant and his No. 25 GMS Racing team.

The struggle continued on Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park during the Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 presented by CK Power. Sargeant qualified in the 18th position and gained several spots during the opening laps of the event. The 20-year-old was running 12th when the field returned to green after a caution for Jordan Anderson near the end of the first stage . Contact with the truck of Todd Gilliland on the restart resulted in heavy contact with the wall for Sargeant and a premature ending to the night.

“I had some contact with the 4 (Gilliland) truck. It just happened to be on the restart there before the end of Stage 1 and I got into the left front fender and I’m guessing that’s what might have caused that left front to go down,” Sargeant said after being evaluated and released from the infield care center.

“It wasn’t too big of a deal,” the Boca Raton, Florida native said of the hit.  “Once we hit the wall it must of broke the brake lines and I had no brakes.”

Entering Gateway, Sargeant was on the outside looking in at the Playoffs as he was 10th in the championship standings. But in the near future, he’s more focused on finding speed in his Chevrolet.

“Right now we’re just working on trying to get better each and every week. We’ve had some unfortunate finishes these past couple of weeks. The speed hasn’t been there so we’re just trying to get our No. 25 Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet back up front and back running fast.”

On that note, GMS Racing teammate Johnny Satuter turned laps in the No. 25 truck during the final practice session on Saturday moring. The veteran driver and four-time winner in 2018 was providing assistance to his rookie teammate.

“It’s definitley a big help just trying to figure out some places where we might be able to improve and get a little bit better. There’s nobody better than Johnny Sauter so to have him jump in the truck and try to help out a little bit and see if there’s anything that he thinks I can do a little bit better. Everything helps.”

The Truck Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend, where Sargeant has two prior starts in the ARCA Racing Series.

“I’m excited. I would like to be able to go there and put on a good show and get out there and run better.”

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