Sauter battled back to win after losing power under caution
Johnny Sauter picked up his 3rd straight win at Dover International Speedway. It marked his first victory of 2019.
Between 2009-2015, Johnny Sauter drove for ThorSport Racing. In 2016-2018, he made the move to GMS Racing.
In 2018, Sauter won six races and finished 4th in the championship. Of the 23 races that year, Sauter finished in the top-10, 17 times.
For 2019, Sauter was “kicked to the curb” at GMS Racing. ThorSport opened their doors and welcomed him back to the company.
Sauter has a 2nd place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway and a 3rd place run at Texas Motor Speedway. Until the weekend, he was short of a win.
Check that box as well. Dover was the first win for Sauter since his return to ThorSport. Needless to say, he was excited…
Johnny Sauter on the return to ThorSport
“Well, when you get kicked to the curb, you feel like you got a lot to prove,” Johnny Sauter told Fox Sports from victory lane.
“A couple months ago, I didn’t know if I’d be racing. To get three in a row here is extra special. This ranks right up as one of the best wins of my career.”
“ThorSport is a great group of guys. They’ve made huge strides, even since I was there the last time.”
Johnny Sauter’s engine wouldn’t re-fire under caution
Sauter was at the front of the field for most of the day. However, it almost went South in a hurry.
Coming to the green with 83 to go, Johnny Sauter was shutting the engine off to save fuel. The team thought they were about 2 gallons short at that point.
However, he shut it off and the truck wouldn’t re-fire. The rule is that drivers must maintain pace under caution.
Sauter was in the 2nd position. While he coasted, he lost 7 positions at a crucial point in the event. Sauter restarted in 9th.
Johnny Sauter on the engine issues at Dover
Johnny Sauter walked through the moment when the engine wouldn’t re-fire during the race:
“I probably dropped a couple F-bombs. At the end of the day, you gotta get back on your horse.”
“I’m not exactly sure what happened. We’re saving fuel. The only way to do that is to cut the ignition off. Then flip the switch back up, let the clutch out and it usually fires back up.”
“I couldn’t get it to crank. And actually hit the kill switch on the steering wheel. Thinking that was it. I went through a bunch of things that just click through your mind as fast as you can try to process all that.”
“Then, all the sudden, I let the clutch back up and pumped the gas and it fired back up. We lost 7-8 spots. But, the key is to just not get frazzled.”
“Yeah, I was worried. Track position is important at a place like this. We’re going so fast.”
After the engine issues, Johnny Sauter went to the top of the race track and drove to the front.
“We knew exactly what we were bringing back. We were bringing back guys that could win races,” said ThorSport manager David Pepper.
ThorSport Racing dominated the results sheet. Their drivers claimed 4 of the top 6 positions in the race.
“A big win for the company. That’s three races in a row. We’re just going to keep knocking them down.”
“That’s why we’re here,” pepper concluded.
Johny Sauter led 43 laps en route to victory. The win at Dover is the 24th of Sauter’s truck series career.