TRUCK NOTES: Sauter Finishes 6 Points Short

Johnny Sauter won Friday night's Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, but came up six points short in the race for the championship. (HHP/Greg Ellemann photo)
Johnny Sauter won Friday night's Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, but came up six points short in the race for the championship. (HHP/Greg Ellemann photo)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Johnny Sauter lost the Camping World Truck Series championship by a mere six points, but he was proud of his ThorSport Racing team’s effort after winning the Ford 200 Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Really if you want to get down to it, it didn’t really matter where he was running. We knew what we had to do and that was lead the most laps to win the race,” Sauter said after his second victory of the season. “It’s a huge accomplishment to come out of here doing what we needed to do essentially, and six points is a bummer. You can think back on the season and dominating Kentucky, broken axle, 20 to go, leading the race; ORP, leading the race, flat tire, ground sway bar off; just the lane violation at Texas, that’s 22 points; six points at Pocono. You can go down the list, but everybody can.

“That’s just racing, and I’m just proud to be second in points. I’m proud to finish the season with a win, and I do want to congratulate Austin and everybody at RCR. What a phenomenal year, and they’ll be good champions.”

*Kevin Harvick, Inc. may not be fielding a Camping World Truck Series entry next season, but four-time series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. isn’t going anywhere.

Hornaday will join Joe Denette Motorsports and pilot the No. 9 Chevrolet with Pro Motor Engines. He will be joined by veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley.

“We are proud to have a champion like Ron Hornaday joining our team,” stated Joe Denette, owner of Joe Denette Motorsports. “It’s not every day that a young organization gets the opportunity to bring a veteran driver, like Hornaday, on board. He will bring a lot of experience and an entirely new dimension to our team. We are dedicated to winning races and contending for a championship in 2012, and we think our decision to bring (Ron) Hornaday and (Jeff) Hensley to JDM shows that commitment.”

Hornaday, a 14-year veteran of the series, has an impressive 51 victories, 27 pole awards, 146 top-five and 208 top-10 finishes on his racing resume.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with JDM next season,” stated Hornaday. “This is a young team and they have put a lot of the right people in place to win races and compete for a championship in 2012. I’m honored to continue my relationship with Chevrolet and I’m looking forward to a successful 2012 season.”

JDM also plans to run a second entry in 2012 for selected events.

*Another KHI driver, Nelson Piquet, Jr., will be joining Turner Motorsports next season. While racing for the Camping World Truck Seires championship for the team, Piquet will also run selected NASCAR Nationwide Series events.

Coming to Turner Motorsports for his sophomore year of Camping World Truck Series competition, Piquet brings with him a rich racing heritage. The son of three-time Formula One World Champion Nelson Piquet,

The 26-year-old driver is thrilled to have the opportunity to compete at NASCAR’s highest levels with Turner Motorsports.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to come to Turner Motorsports in 2012. They are one of the top organizations in our sport and are proven winners,” said Piquet. “I know we will be in the hunt for the Camping World Truck Series championship and I will gain invaluable experience behind the wheel of the Nationwide Series car. I want to thank Steve Turner and everyone at Turner Motorsports and I know 2012 will bring great things for me and my new team.”

*While his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon was celebrating the championship, Joey Coulter had his own little celebration. Coulter won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award after five top fives and 13 top-10 finishes this season.