Sauter ran Riley Herbst below the yellow line then crossed the finish line first; Johnny Sauter was declared the winner; NASCAR reversed the call, giving win to Spencer Boyd
Below, you’ll hear from: Johnny Sauter, Riley Herbst, Spencer Boyd and NASCAR
On Saturday, Talladega Superspeedway hosted the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Per usual for superspeedway racing, there was a battle to the start finish line on the final lap.
Johnny Sauter was leading off turn four. Spencer Boyd (3rd) was on the bumper of Riley Herbst (2nd).
As the tandem draft group caught the leader, Herbst made a move to the outside. But, that was only a fake. As the leader moved off the bottom lane, Herbst dove to the bottom to fill the inside lane.
Herbst got his nose under the rear bumper of Sauter. Sauter continued to come down the track as self-made contact left him no choice but to chase the car below the yellow line.
Herbst checked up to avoid a crash. Spencer Boyd drove to his outside to take 2nd. At the front, Sauter crossed the finish line in first.
Initially, Sauter was declared the race winner. Soon after, NASCAR reversed the call.
Sauter was instead penalized to a 14th place effort. Meanwhile, Spencer Boyd (who finished 2nd) was declared the official race winner.
Johnny Sauter on the Talladega call
“I got hooked,” Johnny Sauter stated after Talladega Superspeedway.
“You know, I got turned sideways. Once a guy makes contact with ya, you’re obviously already hooking to the infield.”
So, to me, it’s a garbage call. But, whatever.”
“We just need a few more rules in NASCAR. That’s all we need is a few more,” Sauter says sarcastically.
“My guys deserve better than that. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a win taken away.”
“We did everything right. Put ourselves in a position to win the race. The guy’s making a run at ya and he gets into ya a little bit. You’re obviously coming down a little bit. But, you got hooked and that’s racing. I don’t know.”
Riley Herbst on the race below the yellow line
“I baited Johnny high and he took it. He drove me all the way to the grass,” Riley Herbst said after the race.
“If I was Johnny, I wouldn’t like the call either. But, if he thinks that’s hooking, there was hooking all over the race today. It’s just contact. I got a huge run with the No. 20 pushing me.”
Herbst continued, “I had the momentum, I was going to the low side. I was going there and he forced me below the yellow line to win the race.”
“At that time, Tony was telling me, ‘Get back above the yellow line.’ That’s what I was trying to do.”
“If I lifted I would have been on the back of a flatbed. They told me going into this weekend they want a trophy but the big trophy is at Homestead for them.”
“I could have stayed in the throttle, wrecked the whole field there and cost KBM an owners’ championship. But, decided to lift a little bit and finish.”
“Which is frustrating because I definitely feel like I could have got the Tundra into victory lane for sure.”
“Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity in the No. 51 truck. This truck’s pretty sought after to hope in. Hopefully, it will earn me a few more rides in this truck, they’re a blast to work with.”
Spencer Boyd on picking up the win after the penalty to Johnny Sauter
The other two drivers involved aren’t happy at all. However, there was one man that was ecstatic to see the call on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Spencer Boyd took the family owned team to victory lane. He claimed his first career NASCAR victory and his second career top five.
Spencer Boyd explained from victory lane, “I’m sitting there like, ‘2nd is amazing for us.’ Then, one of my crew guys is like, ‘You just won!’ “
“I can’t believe this. I mean, two weeks ago, I wasn’t running this race. And we put this together late. It’s been a tough season but a lot of fun.”
“You dream of winning a NASCAR race. Four years ago, I was selling cars with my dad at Hendrick Automotive Group.”
“It’s Talladega! Man, I don’t drink beer but it might happen tonight,” the race winner concluded.
NASCAR explains the call at Talladega Superspeedway
“Obviously, you guys all saw what happened. It’s made very clear in the rule book, in the drivers’ meeting video and all of the dialogue that we have with the drivers with the drivers about what you can and can’t do when it comes to the yellow line,” NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, Scott Miller stated.
“It was clearly a violation of what we ask of the drivers when it related to the yellow line. So, there was no other call for us to make, expect for what we did.”
At first, Johnny Sauter was declared the winner. NASCAR soon after, reversed that decision.
“When cars are coming to the line, our first order of business is to make sure there’s not cars flipping back in the tri-oval.”
“So, we first, watch that. Then, it was brought to our attention that we might have a situation with the No. 13. Then, we look at all the replays from there and make our determination.”
“Well, he actually did two things wrong. He had his whole car down below the yellow line, which you can’t do. And, you can’t force another car below the yellow line.”
“He did both. It was pretty clear cut.”
“We ask them to race above the yellow line. We might give him [a few inches] but not all four tires below the yellow line.”
“You see a lot of blocking going on throughout the day. But, those calls are so subjective that we can’t really get in the middle of every single one of those. But, when it comes to the yellow line, it’s clear cut. You can’t use that to your advantage,” Miller concluded.