Dover International Speedway Race Report 5.4.18

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado

 

Start: 2nd
Finish: 1st
Points: 1st (+51)

 

Stage One: Following a second-place qualifying effort, the best Dover start of Sauter’s NCWTS career, the No. 21 started the 200-lap race in the bottom line, falling back to fourth before finding an opening up top. The Necedah, Wis., native fought a lack of rear grip in Stage One, though the handling began to improve as the track began to tighten-up as the race neared Lap 45. Finishing fourth in Stage One, Sauter pitted his Allegiant Chevrolet for four tires, fuel and both air pressure and chassis adjustments. The No. 21 pit crew once again showed their strength, moving Sauter into second for the start of Stage Two.

 

Stage Two: Six laps into Stage Two, Sauter took over the lead for the first time. Still lacking rear grip, Sauter led until the caution was brought out on lap 90, effectively signaling the end of the second stage. Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr., brought Sauter to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of air pressure and chassis adjustments. Another fast stop saw Sauter as the first truck off pit road for the start of the Final Stage.

 

Final Stage: Back to green on Lap 98, Sauter once again pulled out to a steady lead until lapped traffic held him up on Lap 121. The Allegiant Chevrolet was still the faster truck and Sauter reclaimed the top position just three laps later. With one stop left in the race, the No. 21 team caught a break when caution occurred on lap 157, allowing the team to pit under yellow. With four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Sauter started from the lead once again. Within 20 laps of the checkered flag, Sauter and the No. 18 truck began to battle for the lead with the two trading first and second place as the race drew to a close. As the white flag was shown, contact was made as Sauter had a run in the Allegiant Chevy, resulting in the No. 18 spinning and bringing out caution to set up NASCAR Overtime. Sauter held off the No. 88 and teammate Justin Haley in the No. 24 to claim his second win of the 2018 season and his second win at Dover.

 

Additional Notes:
– For the fifth time in 2018, Sauter claimed a top-10 starting spot and his career-best Dover start (2nd) on Friday afternoon.
– Sauter’s win at Dover is the first time Chevrolet has won back-to-back NCWTS races at the Delaware track.
– Sauter became only the second driver to win multiple NCWTS races at Dover.
– Five races in to the 2018 season, Sauter leads the NCWTS point standings by 51 points over Ben Rhodes.

 

Quotes:
Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet

“What a ride, first and foremost. It’s not every day you get a truck like that, so when you have a brand like Chevrolet and partners like Allegiant, Sunseeker resorts, GMS Fabrication, and JEGS; all of the people that help GMS Racing out, I couldn’t be more proud to win in the fashion we did.”

 

“We were so fast on the long run. I couldn’t be more proud of the 21 guys and the pit crew today. That was just an awesome race. This is such a cool place to race at. When you can tame this place you feel like you’ve done something. So two years in a row, back to back wins, much faster truck this year than last year…I’m pumped! I turned 40 this week and to have an opportunity to drive stuff like this – not many guys get this opportunity and I just want the Gallagher family and Mike Beam to know I appreciate this.”

 

Joe Shear, Jr., crew chief of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet
We stole a win last year and we worked pretty hard coming back here because we didn’t want to do that again. We worked really hard on our setup to come back here and be good. We feel like we accomplished what we needed to. Everyone at GMS and GMS Fabrication worked really hard and we had a dominating truck here. It was good all night, all week. I was proud of the guys and how it handled and I was proud of how Johnny handled everything. it went pretty smooth.

 

Mike Beam, GMS Racing President
“We’ve had a hard week so this win was good. Joe and Johnny, and the whole 21 team, they executed really well. To have two wins, now we can really go to work and get ready for The Playoffs. But Joe and Johnny, they’re a real blessing to us and we’re proud to have them. Johnny is such a team player, and Joe is, too. They’re the senior team, the leaders, so I feel like we can always count on them. We brought Johnny to GMS to be the leader and he’s done that.”