JOHNNY SAUTER LAS VEGAS PREVIEW
Driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records/Riviera Chevy Silverado
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES * LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY * SMITH’S 350
Race 21 of 25
ROLLING THE DICE: Hitting the West Coast for the first time since Spring of 2011 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Johnny Sauter arrives in Sin City with winning momentum. Sitting third in driver championship points in the NCWTS, he has been in the top three for 18 of 20 weeks. Sauter has made three appearances in NCWTS at Las Vegas, in 2009 and 2010 – with his best start in second position in 2009 and finish in Victory Lane that same appearance. Sauter dominates at Las Vegas – with only podium finishes at his two appearances, as well as a p4 and p2 starting grid position. Coming off a sentimental win in his home state of Wisconsin on the off week, Sauter looks to maintain the “winning attitude” and get back into Victory Lane in the NCWTS – a place he’s wanted to go since Martinsville earlier this year.
CELEBRATING OKTOBERFEST WITH A WIN: Sauter was crowned the ASA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 100 Champion on the NCWTS off weekend last week – after a dominating performance in late models at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in Wisconsin. He led all 100 laps over his nephew, Travis Sauter, to take the checker in front of a home crowd – to include legendary Wisconsin racer, dad Jim – sitting in the stands.
LIVING THE RIVIERA LIFE: Sauter and the 13 team adds a new partner to the mix at Las Vegas on their Chevy Silverado – the Riviera Hotel & Casino – named the Official Las Vegas Hotel of ThorSport Racing. Sauter will take part in an autograph session with his teammates, Matt Crafton and Dakoda Armstrong, on Friday, October 14th at 7:30pm PST.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 13 team will utilize chassis No. 038 this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A proven intermediate chassis for the team, it brought a pole and win Kentucky earlier this year. Its last appearance was in Kentucky in early October, where Sauter finished fourteenth after pit road woes relegated a pass through penalty.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Sauter drove the No. 13 home to a fourteenth place finish at Kentucky Speedway after starting in the 17th position for the day. An unfortunate speeding penalty on pit road relegated a pass through, putting Sauter two laps down. His finish kept him third in overall driver championship points, only 19 behind leader Austin Dillon going into a strong track for Sauter at Las Vegas.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Johnny Sauter
How important was the Oktoberfest win to you?
“I’m still speechless, three days later. I have been fortunate enough to win some Nationwide and Truck Series races, but this one is pretty high up there. Ever win is special in its own way, but this one is obviously special because I grew up watching my dad and brothers race here. I don’t know how you measure wins on a scale, but this one is big.”
Does that give you any kind of advantage going into Las Vegas?
“Las Vegas is special for me too, knowing that I got my first Truck Series win there two years ago. It just feels right this week, the momentum I have and being able to take home the win in Wisconsin. We’ve had some challenges this last part of the year in Trucks for a variety of reasons, and it’s time to take the gloves off. Everyone knows I’m a big Rocky fan, and I’m going to have to get back to my Rock and Mick quotes. With five to go, we’re focusing on this championship and getting back to business.”
Do you get nerves with five races to go?
“Right now it’s business as usual. I’ve got to race as hard as I possibly can right now to make up for mistakes I’ve made. I have to be a leader to my guys and get us back on track. So I don’t have much time for nerves. At the beginning of the race, I’m just anticipating anything and everything – trying to stay focused & give good feedback to my crew throughout the race. So I’m not nervous – just ready.”
Safe Auto/Curb/Riviera Chevrolet Silverado
Saturday, October 15th, 2011
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
146 laps/219 Miles
TV: SPEED will broadcast live at 3:30pm EST
Radio: MRN & Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will broadcast live at 3:00pm EST
Current Point Standings: 3rd (-19)
Crew Chief: Joe Shear, Jr.
Engine: Earnhardt-Childress Racing (ECR)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series results at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Wins: 1 (2009)
Top 5: 2
Average Start: 3 (best p2)
Average Finish: 2 (best p1)