Johnny Sauter had to fend off multiple challengers late to win Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway for the second year in a row.
The victory also is Sauter’s second of the season and 19th of his career.
Sauter, who led 137 of the 210 laps, held off Matt Crafton on an overtime restart to win. That came after a spirited duel with Noah Gragson.
Crafton finished second and was followed by Justin Haley, David Gilliland and Harrison Burton.
Gragson crashed two laps from the scheduled distance after bumping Sauter as they battled side by side for the lead entering Turn 3. The contact turned Gragson and he backed into the SAFER barrier. Gragson was seeking his second career series win.
“Extremely disappointed in myself,” Gragson told FS1 before going to Victory Lane to congratulate Sauter. “It was just a racing deal. Not the way I try to race people. I take full responsibility in that. It was 100 percent my fault. Just unacceptable on my part. All I could think about was the mistake I made. I’m just devastated.”
Stage 1 winner: Noah Gragson
Stage 2 winner: Johnny Sauter
How Johnny Sauter won: He had the strongest truck, survived a duel with Noah Gragson and then outran Matt Crafton on the overtime restart to win.
Who had a good race: Matt Crafton was steady throughout the race and put himself in position to finish second. … Justin Haley finished third to earn his best result since his runner-up effort at Daytona. … David Gilliland placed fourth in his second start of the season.
Who had a bad race: Jesse Little, who had one of the strongest trucks, was penalized a lap for pitting outside the box with 42 laps to go, ending his hopes for a win. … Todd Gilliland overcame an early speeding penalty and was running in the top five when a battery issue left him stalled on the track with 18 laps to go. … Parker Kligerman had a vibration early because of a loose wheel, used pit strategy at the beginning of the second stage to take the lead but saw his race end early with an oil leak.
Notable: David Gilliland will have bragging rights on his son Todd. In their first race together in NASCAR, David Gilliland finished fourth and Todd placed 10th.
Quote: “I’m just devastated,’’ Noah Gragson told FS1 after wrecking while battling Johnny Sauter for the win.
Next: The series races at 8:30 p.m. ET, May 11 at Kansas Speedway