Johnny Sauter Secures NASCAR Truck Series Championship Shot With Martinsville Win

Sauter claimed his sixth NASCAR Truck Series win of 2018 and his fourth career Martinsville victory.

Johnny Sauter kicked off the second round of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs with a win Saturday in the Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway. With the victory, Sauter clinched a berth to compete for the 2018 championship in next month’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Just so proud of everybody,” Sauter said. “It’s a good day to be in a Chevrolet. Pit stops were awesome. We’re going to Homestead to race for a championship. That’s what it’s all about.”

Fellow playoff driver Brett Moffitt finished second.

Six for Sauter.

Six for Sauter.

, Johnny Sauter celebrates his sixth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of 2018 after the Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 27, 2018., Getty Images for NASCAR

Sauter dominated the race before taking his sixth win of 2018 and his fourth at Martinsville. After taking the lead from pole sitter Todd Gilliland on Lap 40, he led most of the remainder of the 200-lap race. Gilliland led the first 39 laps before giving up the top spot to pit during the first caution for a Chad Finley spit.

Sauter inherited the lead by staying out. He and other playoff drivers, including Noah Gragson, Grant Enfinger, and Matt Crafton, stayed out during the first caution and, again, during the second caution that signaled the end of the opening stage at Lap 50.

“Track position just seems to be the name of the game here any more,” Sauter said. “This is a a big win.”

Sauter was up front at the end of both 50-lap stages that made up the first half of the race before making his first and only pit stop after the second stage ended at Lap 100.

Kyle Benjamin gained several positions by staying out after the second stage after making a stop during a Lap 62 caution for a Stewart Friesen spin. He restarted with the lead, but when the race returned to green, Sauter returned to the front.

Sauter also lost the lead briefly when Myatt Snider took the top spot on a restart as Grant Enfinger spun around Lap 160 to bring out another caution, the sixth and final caution of the race. But like Benjamin before him, Snider lost the lead to Sauter when the race restarted.

Both Snider and Benjamin remained in the top-five for the remainder of the race to finish third and fifth, respectively.

Todd Gilliland leads to green flag

Todd Gilliland leads to green flag

, Todd Gilliland starts the Texas Roadhouse 200 from the pole at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 27, 2018., Getty Images for NASCAR


1. Johnny Sauter, No. 21 Chevrolet

2. Brett Moffitt, No. 16 Toyota

3. Myatt Snider, No. 13 Ford

4. Ben Rhodes, No. 41 Ford

5. Kyle Benjamin, No. 17 Toyota

6. Justin Haley, No. 24 Chevrolet

7. Noah Gragson, No. 18 Toyota

8. Harrison Burton, No. 51 Toyota

9. Christian Eckes, No. 46 Toyota

10. Timothy Peters, No. 23 Chevrolet

11. Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Chevrolet

12. Todd Gilliland, No. 4 Toyota

13. Matt Crafton, No. 88 Ford

14. Grant Enfinger, No. 98 Ford

15. Jeb Burton, No. 30 Toyota

16. Parker Kligerman, No. 75 Chevrolet

17. Tyler Dippel, No. 24 Chevrolet

18. Tyler Ankrum, No. 54 Toyota

19. Sheldon Creed, No. 2 Chevrolet

20. Austin Hill, No. 02 Chevrolet

21. Chase Purdy, No. 99 Chevrolet

22. Kyle Donahue, No. 63 Chevrolet

23. Austin Wayne Shelf, No. 22 Chevrolet

24. Dawson Cram, No. 83 Chevrolet

25. D.J. Kennington, No. 49 Chevrolet

26. Jordan Anderson, No. 3 Chevrolet

27. Justin Fontaine, No. 45 Chevrolet

28. Brad Foy, No. 15 Chevrolet

29. Jennifer Jo Cobb, No. 10 Chevrolet

30. John Hunter Nemechek, No. 8 Chevrolet

31. Tanner Thorson, No. 20 Chevrolet

32. Chad Finley, No. 33 Chevrolet

UP NEXT: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will continue Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas race will be the third to last race of the 2018 season. Johnny Sauter won the last two Truck Series races at TMS and three of the last four.