Kansas Motor Speedway Race Report 5.11.18

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 ISM Connect Chevrolet Silverado

Start:4th
Finish:5th
Points:1st (+35)

Stage One: 
Sauter reported early in the first 40-lap stage that the ISM Connect Chevy was too loose. After falling back to the eighth position on the initial start, Sauter maintained that position until the handling condition worsened as Stage One came to a close and he crossed the line in ninth. Pitting for four tires, fuel and both chassis and air pressure adjustments, an issue with the right front tire slowed the pit stop, placing Sauter 15th for the restart.

Stage Two:
Eight laps into the second stage, Sauter re-entered the top-10. Once again working as high as the eighth position, Sauter said the ISM Connect Chevrolet was bouncing through the bumps in the corners, becoming tight on exit. Completing Stage Two in the eighth position, Sauter pitted for the four tires, fuel and another round of chassis adjustments, returning to the track in the 13th position.

 

Final Stage:Just five laps into the Final Stage, Johnny Sauter once again entered the top-10, but the caution would come out just seven laps later slowing down his progress. With several trucks pitting under the yellow, the No. 21 team elected to take four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment in hopes of stopping for fuel only later in the race. Restarting in 13th after an uncontrolled tire penalty, Sauter began to run his fastest laps of the night as the field returned to green. With 27 laps remaining in the race, Sauter took the lead when others began coming to pit road for green flag stops.  With 13 laps to go, Sauter gave up the lead to pit for fuel only and returned to the track in the seventh position. He gained two spots in the final laps to finish fifth, earning his fifth top-five of the 2018 season.

 

Additional Notes:

– With a fifth-place showing at Kansas, Sauter now has two wins and five top-five finishes in six starts for 2018.

– Six races into the 2018 season, Sauter leads the NCWTS point standings by 35 points over Noah Gragson.

 

Quote:“We knew after the morning’s practice session that the handling wasn’t quite where it needed to be and we’d have work to do tonight. There were some problems on pit road that put us a little further back in the field for each restart, but ultimately it came down to fuel mileage and pit strategy, and we did what we had to do to try to wait out a caution and get a win. But there’s nothing to complain about with a top-five, we’ll just learn from this and move on and see if it gives us something we can use down the road.”