Column By: SHANE CARLSON / RPW – NEWTON, IA – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Johnny Sauter looked to improve on his runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway from last year but fell short and finished fifth.
Sauter, winner of four races through the first eight races heading into Saturday night’s competition said it was a struggle to find the balance of the truck.
“It was just a struggle. We struggled for forward traction all night long and the setup we ran today was kind of a different package than what we would typically run, so we learned obviously,” Sauter said.
“No adjustments on the pit stops really seemed to phase it either. We just had a little trouble getting to the gas in our ISM Connect Chevy. We just missed it a little bit today,” he added.
Sauter qualified seventh in Saturday night’s M&M’s 200 Presented by Casey’s General Store and finished fifth. At the end of the first stage the No. 21 machine was fifth and ended the second stage in eighth.
In the final stage, Sauter closed back to fifth but the Toyotas of Brett Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton and David Gilliland were battling it out amongst themselves at the front of the field.
Sauter continues to lead the series standings, with a 71-point cushion over second-place, Noah Gragson. With the win, Brett Moffitt is third in the standings, followed by Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger.
2018 has proven to be a great season so far for Sauter, with eight top-fives in nine starts, including four wins.
Sauter and the rest of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back in action next weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, a track where he has six top-fives in six starts.