Can Sauter win third straight truck race at Texas?
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Johnny Sauter is hoping to make it a three- peat at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.
Sauter won both Camping World Truck Series races at this fast 1.5-mile racetrack during the 2012 season. Brendan Gaughan is the only driver in the series to win three or more consecutive events here. Gaughan scored a season- sweep in 2002 and '03, becoming the first driver to win four truck races in a row at the same track.
"Texas is fast, and you don't want to be off by the least little bit, but you can say that about any racetrack, because handling is always such a premium," Sauter said. "The bumps are probably the biggest thing that you fight at Texas, but handling is ultimately what wins pretty much every race, so you have to pay real good attention to that."
Sauter stormed out of the gate this season by winning the first two races (Daytona and Martinsville), but the ThorSport Racing driver had a couple of setbacks during the months of April and May.
NASCAR issued severe penalties to Sauter's No. 98 team following the April 20 race at Kansas for an unapproved fuel cell discovered on his truck during opening-day inspection. Sauter and truck owner Mike Curb were both docked 25 points, and crew chief Joe Shear received a four-race suspension and a $10,000 fine.
Sauter finished 28th in the May 17 race at Charlotte after he was involved in an accident late in the event. He dropped from second to sixth in the point standings. But Sauter moved up to fourth in points following his seventh-place run in the May 31 race at Dover.
"We're going to Texas to try and do the best we can, business-as-usual for me and my guys at ThorSport," said Sauter, who is currently 43 points behind leader and teammate Matt Crafton.
Crafton has scored six top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 24 starts at Texas. He has yet to win here but has finished second three times, most recently in June 2012.
"Texas has actually been one of my favorite racetracks," Crafton said. "It's become a place I really, really love going to. We finished second in the spring race last year, right behind Johnny, and we were right around the top- five in the fall race.
"We've had some really good runs there and have just come up a little bit short of getting to victory lane, so hopefully, we can do that this weekend and get the guns blazing at the end."
Houston-native David Starr will compete in his record-extending 30th straight truck race at Texas. Starr only missed the track's inaugural event in 1997.
Thirty-two teams are entered for the WinStar World Casino 400, which is four short of a full field.
Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, June 7. Race: WinStar World Casino 400. Site: Texas Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 9 p.m. ET. Laps: 167. Miles: 250.5 (400 kilometers). 2012 Winner: Johnny Sauter. Television: Speed. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
06/06 17:58:05 ET