Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records/Carrier.com Chevrolet Silverado, battled the “Monster” at Dover International Speedway’s Monster Mile for an 11th place finish Friday afternoon.
Starting on the grid in seventh position, Sauter found himself “killing the splitter” early on in radio communication with crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. Taking advantage of an early lap five caution, the team pitted for adjustments. Fighting loose conditions, he went on to battle through lap traffic after a pit road penalty for speeding on entry at lap 135 from twenty-fifth position and two laps down – all the way back to eleventh position within 60 laps. Thanks to a lucky dog on the seventh of the race’s nine cautions, Sauter joined the lead lap trucks in 17th and dialed down to the 11th position at the checkers.
“We had a top five truck here in Dover, so of course I’m disappointed,” said SafeAuto Racing Driver Johnny Sauter, who now sits in second position in driver points going into Charlotte next week. “We’ve been trying a lot of new things with the front end geometry this year, and Joe and I want to just get back to the basics. My guys had some serious speed on pit road and that helps you out when you’re not the fastest truck in the pack. I’m proud of them for working so hard in pit practice this month, it’s showing for sure.”
“It stinks that we got a speeding penalty on entry, it really pushed us to the back and I even told the guys that they could turn in their driver for a new one,” he continued, joking. “They did their jobs, and I’m glad we could at least bring it back up to get in lucky dog position to post up to the lead lap. We earned the 11th spot today, but it’s just not good enough for us this year. We’re regrouping for Charlotte.”
“The one thing I do like is having the pressure off. Congrats to my teammate Matt on the points lead, he earned it today. Me and my guys are really comfortable with that ‘underdog’ title, so it was a lot of pressure coming into Dover. Now, I think it’s back to having our eyes on the prize. We’re going to win races. So Charlotte, we’re going to focus on the win.”
North Carolina Education Lottery 200
Friday, May 20th
201 miles/134 laps