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Johnny Sauter back in Truck with ThorSport Racing

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Who says you can’t go home again? Johnny Sauter is proof you can.

Just over a month after unexpectedly losing his Gander Outdoors Truck Series ride with GMS Racing, Sauter has returned to ThorSport Racing, just in time for Friday’s NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Sauter announced that he has rejoined ThorSport on Tuesday’s edition of RaceHub on Fox Sports 1.

I’m returning home,” Sauter said. “I couldn’t be more proud of going back there and running for a championship.” 

ThorSport expands to four full-time Truck entries with Sauter returning. He’ll be teammates with Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Myatt Snider and Grant Enfinger. Snider will drive in select races for the team.

Sauter also will have longtime crew chief Joe Shear Jr. back with him for the 2019 season.

“He’s like an old pair of shoes for me,” Sauter smiled, alluding to how comfortable he is with Shear. “I think we’ll pick up right where we left off, racing for wins.”

Sauter raced for ThorSport from 2009-15, scoring 10 wins. He moved to GMS Racing for 2016-18 before he found himself out of a ride on January 9.

“It was just a business decision,” Sauter said. “The guy that took my place (defending Truck Series champ Brett Moffitt) probably works a little cheaper. Just kidding.

“You can let it bother you or you just move on. I’ve never raced a Ford, so I’m looking forward to working with their engineers and people.”

Sauter flew into Daytona Tuesday and is ready to go for Friday night’s race.

“Daytona is a crapshoot,” he said. “I’ve been wrecked there on Lap 1 and I’ve won there. You have to manage your expectations going into that race, have to put your best effort forward and be patient all night long.”

Sauter, a native of Necedah, Wisconsin, won his lone Truck Series championship in his first season with GMS in 2016, was second in 2017 and fourth last season.

Sauter has 244 career starts in a Truck, with 23 wins. He also has 85 Cup races without a win and 207 Xfinity starts with three wins.

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Brett Moffitt wins Truck race at Miami, takes championship

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Brett Moffitt beat Grant Enfinger by two seconds Friday night to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the championship.

It was his sixth victory of the season.

Moffitt’s first win of the season came at Atlanta in the season’s second race but even then he was unsure if the team would have the financing to go to every race and be eligible for the playoffs.

“It’s unreal,” Moffitt said on FoxSports 1 from victory lane. “I didn’t know if I was going to get the opportunity to compete for a championship even after I got my first win.

“Everyone pulled together hard here. Back at Chicago (in June) we didn’t know if we were going to make it to the racetrack.”

Chicago was another race won by Moffitt.

Friday night, Enfinger finished second to Moffitt.

Fellow playoff contender Noah Gragson finished third. Stewart Friesen finished fourth with Sheldon Creed rounding out the top five.

MORE: Brett Moffitt seeks to join pantheon of NASCAR ‘stache champions

Moffitt achieved the title in just 36 starts – the fewest since Mike Skinner won the inaugural championship in 1995 in 20 races.

Moffitt’s championship comes with an uncertain future. He announced Thursday that he does not have a contract for next year.

Playoff contender Justin Haley finished eighth.

“We just struggled.” he said. “I don’t know why.”

Former champion Johnny Sauter battled handling problems for most of the race and was not a factor.

“It was awful,” he said. “Just no grip. We laid an egg tonight. I don’t know why.

“When you suck that bad, it’s whatever, you just go home and go what the hell happened? I’ll ask myself that for three months.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brett Moffitt

MORE: Click here for complete results.
MORE: Click here for the complete points report.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Jesse Little tied his career best finish of sixth (which he first scored at Iowa this June). … Tyler Dippel finished 15th to score his fourth top 15 in five Truck starts.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Robby Lyons slapped the wall on Lap 78; he finished 29th. … Chris Windom started 10th but hit the wall with a handful of laps remaining to finish 24th. 

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We were just too tight there (at the end). Needed to make better adjustments on pit road and that’s where it comes down to me,” Noah Gragson told FS1 after the race. “This one is going to hurt for a while.”

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Myatt Snider scored three top fives and eight top 10s on his way to rookie honors. Snider’s best finish this season was runner-up at Talladega. His best unrestricted finish was a third at Martinsville.

NOTABLE: This is the first time since 1999 that the champion won the season finale.

WHAT’S NEXT: Nextera Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 15, 2019 at Daytona International Speedway.

Justin Haley wins Truck race at Texas as Todd Gilliland runs out of fuel

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Justin Haley inherited the lead from Todd Gilliland when Gilliland ran out of fuel on the backstretch of the last lap in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. With the win, Haley locked himself into the championship finale in two weeks in Miami – joining GMS Racing teammate Johnny Sauter.

“I thought we had it lost there,” Haley said in victory lane on Fox Sports 1. “I didn’t quite maximize my pit road. God stuck with me, kept my faith behind me.”

Gilliland led by more than three seconds when he took the white flag.

“Just heartbroken.” Gilliland said in the media center after the race. “Kind of disbelief. You’re half a lap away from your first win.”

Ben Rhodes finished second with Brett Moffitt in third.

Gilliland coasted across the finish line in fourth with Austin Hill rounding out the top five.

The final battle was set up when Gilliland lost the lead to Stewart Friesen shortly before they both pitted on Lap 118. Friesen was caught speeding entering the pits. Once the pit stop cycle ended, Gilliland led by more than three seconds.

Playoff contender Noah Gragson sustained damage on the right side when he was involved in a multi-Truck incident on Lap 42, but was able to climb back to 10th at the checkers.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Haley for his first stage win of his career (under caution)

STAGE 2 WINNER: Myatt Snider for his first stage win of his career (under caution)

MORE: Click here for complete results
MORE: Click here for complete points

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Making his first start on a 1.5-mile track, Harrison Burton finished sixth. … Jesse Little finished seventh, one spot off his career-best finish. … Myatt Snider scored the Stage 2 win. He lost track position in the final stage and finished 13th.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Bo LeMastus crashed on Lap 3 while running 16th. He was the first driver to retire in 32nd. … David Gilliland was running in the top five before he slammed the wall. He took the truck straight to the garage and finished 30th. … Cory Roper and Joe Nemechek made contact on Lap 42 and Roper spun up the track, collecting Tyler Young and Johnny Sauter. … Making his fifth Truck start and first on a 1.5-mile track, Sheldon Creed crashed on Lap 60 after leading two laps. He finished 25th.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “Canada and here were two luck wins,” Haley said on Fox Sports 1 from victory lane. “You just can’t give up faith. You bring great trucks to the race track and that’s all you can do.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Lucas Oil 150 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 9 at ISM Raceway on Fox Sports 1.

Truck results, point standings after Talladega

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The Round of 8 came to a close at Talladega with several playoff contenders involved in accidents. In the end, it was part-time driver Timothy Peters who survived the carnage to score his third Truck victory at Talladega and 11th of his career.

Last-lap contact with Noah Gragson opened the door for Peters to win and caused the Fr8Auctions 250 to end under caution with Myatt Snider second and David Gilliland third.

Fourth-place Justin Haley was the only playoff contender in the top five. Wendell Chavous rounded finished fifth to score his first Tuck top 10.

Click here for complete results

Johnny Sauter scored enough stage points to advance in the playoffs. He enters the Round of 6 with the lead and 42 bonus points.

Brett Moffitt is seeded second with 27 bonus points and is followed by Noah Gragson (25), Grant Enfinger (18) and Justin Haley (14). Matt Crafton is seeded in the sixth and final position with three bonus points.

Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen failed to advance.

Click here for the complete points

 

Grant Enfinger wins Truck race at Las Vegas

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Grant Enfinger survived three overtimes to win his second career race and lock himself into the second round of the playoffs. Enfinger took the lead on the final restart when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel. Enfinger had fresher tires after gambling and taking no tires with 49 laps remaining.

Enfinger entered the Las Vegas race last among the eight playoff contenders in the points after getting spun late in the Truck race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and finishing 17th.

On the final lap Friday night, Enfinger held off Johnny Sauter.

Playoff contenders Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.

Haley was already locked into round two of the playoffs with his win in the opening playoff race.

Moffitt fell to 11th after his fuel problem.

Noah Gragson blew a left front tire with 25 to go after contact with Moffitt in traffic. Gragson was hit with a commitment line violation when the tire blew and lost two laps in the process. He made one of those laps up and finished 18th.

Stewart Friesen spun three times in the final stage of the race. He did substantial damage in the final spin and finished 17th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

MORE: Click here for complete results.
MORE: Click here for points report

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Matt Crafton had to start at the rear of the field after making unapproved adjustments to his truck; he was in the top 10 within five green flag laps and maintained his track position…. Myatt Snider snapped a six-race streak of finishes outside the top 10 with a sixth. … Ross Chastain is attempting the tripleheader at Vegas. He got off to a strong start with a seventh in the Truck race. … Jennifer Jo Cobb scored her first top 15 in 90 attempts with a 12th. Her last top 15 before this was a 13th at Kansas in May 2014. This is Cobb’s second best career finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson went high to avoid a loose Myatt Snider and got out of the groove on Lap 2. He pounded the outside wall and was the first driver out. … Bo LeMastus was running 28th on Lap 46 when he pancaked the right side of his truck. … Riley Herbst pushed into the wall late in Stage 2, cutting his tire with five to go in that segment. … Todd Gilliland and Jesse Little ran out of room trying to arc into Turn 1 on Lap 83; Gilliland got turned into the wall. … Stewart Friesen was battling for a top-five finish when he spun the first time; he hit the wall and did significant damage in his third spin on Lap 131.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “We were supposed to be a few laps to the good. It shouldn’t have been an issue,” Brett Moffitt on if he had any concerns about fuel before running out on the final restart.

NOTABLE: Justin Haley and Grant Enfinger will advance to the second round with their wins in the first round. That leaves six drivers contending for the last four spots to advance to the second round.

WHAT’S NEXT: Talladega 250 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 on Fox.