DOVER, Del. – Johnny Sauter continued his mastery of Dover Int’l Speedway Friday afternoon.
Driving the No. 13 Ford for ThorSport Racing, Sauter held off reigning NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion – and the man who replaced him at GMS Racing – Brett Moffitt to earn his third-straight victory at the Monster Mile.
Sauter had to rebound from a late-race pit road speeding penalty to earn the victory, his first of the season and the 24th of his Truck Series career.
During a caution period with less than 40 laps left following a crash by Austin Wayne Self, Sauter was busted for speeding on pit road. The resulting penalty dropped him outside the top-10, but the veteran racer would not be denied.
Shortly after the restart, which saw Ben Rhodes leading the field, Sheldon Creed crashed his No. 2 Chevrolet in an incident that also damaged the trucks of Todd Gilliland and Tyler Ankrum. Sauter was now sixth for the ensuing restart and he quickly went to work passing the trucks in front of him.
On lap 169 Sauter moved by Harrison Burton to take over second and one lap later Sauter dispatched Rhodes to take over the lead.
Sauter continued to lead the way until the final caution flag of the race waved with 10 laps left when Brennan Poole found the outside wall in turn one. That set up one final restart with five laps left with Sauter leading Moffitt and Burton.
Moffitt tried to hang with Sauter on the restart, but Sauter’s Ford F-150 was just too much for the reigning series champion. Sauter pulled clear and pulled away to what the Wisconsin native called one of his favorite victories of his career.
“When you get kicked to the curb you feel like you have a lot to prove,” said Sauter, who was released by GMS Racing prior to the 2019 season in favor of Moffitt. “A couple months ago I didn’t know if I’d be racing. To get three in a row here is extra special.
“This is so special. This ranks right up there as one of the best wins of my career.”
Moffitt, in his first season driving for GMS Racing after winning the Truck Series title last year for Hattori Racing Enterprises, is still searching for his first victory of the year.
“It’s all about track position here at Dover now,” said Moffitt, who started from the pole after setting a track record in qualifying. “Restarting on the outside is key and he obviously got the outside. I was lucky enough to get into second without the 98 (Grant Enfinger) filling the gap.
“We had a good ISM Connect Chevy. When we were out front we could lead. We won the first stage. Lapped traffic kind of cost us track position we never got back.”
Burton came home third in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 Toyota, followed by ThorSport’s Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton. Rhodes, Austin Hill, Derek Kraus, Ankrum and Ross Chastain completed the top-10.
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