Johnny Sauter earns first Truck win of season and first career triumph at Dover

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Veteran Johnny Sauter held off hard-charging rookie Kaz Grala to win Friday’s Bar Harbor 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

It was the first win of the season for the reigning Truck champion and the 14th of his career. It was first career win at the Monster Mile. He had never led a lap at the track until today.

Sauter also broke a streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes, and made it a 1-2 finish for GMS Racing.

“I’m so proud of everyone at GMS and the 1-2 finish,” said Sauter, who led 33 laps in the 200-lap event. “It’s just a great day, unbelievable after three second-place finishes to get a win.”

MORE: Results from Friday’s Bar Harbor 200 Truck Series race at Dover

MORE: Truck Series driver standings after Bar Harbor 200 at Dover

 

The 18-year-old Grala, who skipped his high school graduation to race today, showed the maturity of a veteran and crept closer to Sauter in the final laps but could not get close enough to make a pass for the win.

“We were close,” Grala said. “Overall, it was a solid day. These races are all about track position and clean air. This was a really good race car, glad we got another top-five and it was another good points day.”

Rookie Grant Enfinger bounced back from a wreck earlier in the race to finish third, followed by Ben Rhodes, who led a race-high 71 laps, and rookie Austin Cindric.

Sixth through 10th were Brandon Jones, Regan Smith, rookie Justin Haley, rookie Noah Gragson and Ryan Truex.

Truex won the first stage. Matt Crafton won the second stage, his first stage win of the season.

HOW SAUTER WON: After three straight runner-up finishes, Sauter had his doubts that he’d have a good truck today. But he used patience and veteran wiles to not only get to the front, but also to hold off teammate Kaz Grala.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger bounced back from an early wreck to finish third. Austin Cindric earned his best career finish with his fifth-place finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Christopher Bell came into the race second in the standings and had top-10 finishes in all prior races this season. He was in a three-truck wreck with nine laps to go in Stage 1 and his day was done. Bell finished 25th in the 32-truck field.

NOTABLE: Todd Gilliland’s Truck Series debut came to an end with 82 laps to go when he hit the wall and broke the suspension on his truck. He finished 20th. … Brad Keselowski Racing is facing some major penalties after Chase Briscoe left pit road late in the race and the left front tire fell off. According to the Truck Series rule book, “loss of wheel(s) due to improper installation will result in a mandatory minimum four Race suspension of the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier for the lost wheel(s).”

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “There’s just some days when you wake up and don’t think it’s your day and don’t think things are clicking.” – Even so, Sauter still wound up winning the race.

WHAT’S NEXT: Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET, WinstarOnlineGaming.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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