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Trucks: Sauter wins in Texas

Johnny Sauter won his second Texas race of the year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, winning under the floodlights on Friday night after a late pass on Parker Kligerman.
Johnny Sauter likes Texas, and Texas likes Johnny Sauter: his only win so far in the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series had come at Texas Motor Speedway, and he repeated the feat on Friday night to beat Parker Kligerman to the chequered flag.

"It's been a season of peaks and valleys, for sure," said Sauter in victory lane after the race. "We've just had a lot of bad luck this year, quite frankly." The ThorSport Racing was runner-up in 2011 but has slumped to ninth place in the standings this year - but at least has his two wins in Texas to take pride in.

Sauter's win was nearly undone when Parker Kilgerman took the lead after the final round of pit stops by opting for two tyres only - a late call that even caught out his own crew, who didn't realise what the plan was until after they'd jacked up the left side of the car for tyres that weren't coming, a miscommunication that cost Kilgerman valuable seconds under the green flag conditions, but which was still good enough to get Kilgerman out in front.

"I looked up, and he was pretty far out there, and I was like, 'Oh, boy,'" said Sauter of the moment he realised Kligerman's tactic. "I just made sure I didn't screw up getting off pit road. I thought we had a pretty good lead," he admitted. "They said, you're racing the #30 [Piquet] for the lead. Then I got by him, and they were like no, it's the #7 [Kligerman]."

Even so, he felt that he was on the surer strategy: "I knew that, with as much time as there was left in the race - 20 or 25 laps - I didn't think [deciding on two tyres only] prevail," he said. "I just knew it was a matter of time. As fast as we reeled him in, I just figured there was plenty of time."

He was right, and on his four new tyres he was able to reel in the #7 and blast past him on lap 137 with 10 laps remaining. He pulled out a lead of almost three seconds and while this reduced to a little over two by the time the chequered flag came out, there was no danger of Sauter not succeeding in sweeping Texas.

Nelson Piquet Jr. had looked the strongest driver going into the race after sweeping the practice sessions and then putting the #30 into pole position. Piquet led for the first 35 laps but was then deposed by James Buescher at the front during the first round of pit stops, and then returned to the front for another long stint on the 1.5-mile high-banked quad-oval circuit to eventually claim the bonus point for most laps led with 65 laps on top. Ultimately his tyres faded toward the end of the third stint and left him easy pickings for Sauter to pass ahead of the final round of pit stops, but he held on to third place over Kyle Busch who was having to recover from some early electrical issues.

At an average speed of 154.737 mph and a race duration a shade over 85 minutes, this was the fastest race in Truck Series history, partly thanks to there being only two cautions for the entire 147-lap race: Ryan Blaney crashed on lap 31 to bring out the first caution, while fluid on the track was responsible for the second on lap 66.

The result leave the championship standings unchanged, with Ty Dillon's fifth place finish enough to trim James Buescher's 21pt lead coming into this weekend to 15pts after Buescher came home in 11th place.




Related Pictures

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Nelson Piquet Jr. pits the #30 TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear Chevrolet during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #13 SealMaster/Curb Records Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #13 SealMaster/Curb Records Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, take the chequered flag during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Alex Tagliani, driver of the #19 Reese Towpower Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, races Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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