Texas Motor Speedway Race Report 6.8.18

No. 21 ISM Connect Chevrolet Silverado

Start: 5th
Finish: 1st
Points: 1st (+77)

Stage One: Johnny Sauter started from the fifth position for his 20th career Texas Motor Speedway start. He reported early in the event that he was too free, lacking front grip on entry. Staying on track through three cautions in the first 42-lap stage, Sauter worked his way as high as third before settling into the fourth position for the end of Stage One. He pitted for right side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, lining up to start the second stage from ninth.

Stage Two: Sauter continued to fight a progressively loose handling condition in the ISM Connect Chevy as he run just outside the top-five. A caution with seven laps remaining in Stage Two allowed the No. 21 team to pit for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment. Going back green with just three laps left in Stage Two, Sauter crossed the line in the ninth position and stayed on track under caution to start the Final Stage from the third position.

Final Stage: After a short battle for the lead, Sauter settled into the second position before making his last stop of the night under caution on lap 108. Pitting for fuel and a chassis adjustment, Sauter lined up second for the restart. Taking over the lead on lap 117 from teammate Justin Haley, Sauter held the top position for the final 51 laps and a two-lap shootout to close out the PPG 400. Sauter crossed the line first, earning back-to-back wins, his fourth NCWTS win of 2018, and his fifth win at Texas Motor Speedway.

Additional Notes:
– With his fourth win of the season at Texas Motor Speedway, Sauter now has five wins at the 1.5-mile track and 21 career NCWTS wins. He has now matched his career-best total for wins in a single season.

– Sauter now has 21 consecutive top-10 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks and has qualified in the top-10 for all eight races this season.

– Sauter holds a 77-point lead over Noah Gragson in the NCWTS driver point standings.