Sauter wins NASCAR Truck race at Bristol

Johnny Sauter won the UNOH 200 at Bristol on Thursday night

Johnny Sauter won the UNOH 200 at Bristol on Thursday night

Johnny Sauter celebrates in Victory Lane after capturing the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo contributed to TriCitiesSports.com by NKP Photo.

Passing John Hunter Nemechek for the lead on Lap 196 of 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Johnny Sauter picked up his series-best fifth victory of the season, along with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular-season championship, but fellow two-time champion Matt Crafton wasn't about to begrudge Sauter his success. John Hunter Nemechek, No. 8 Chevrolet 4. Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Chevrolet 3.

As soon as Johnny Sauter fired up his engine and took the first lap after the drop of the green flag, the regular season title was his. He'll be the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs. This is Sauter's sixth win of the season and in addition to this win and its perks, he adds an additional fifteen playoff points to his already large total for winning the regular season championship. This is so cool. For a short track guy, and I consider myself a short-track guy, to get a win at a place like this is so special. "This is such a cool place, and I'm just pumped up right now".

Sauter, though, wasn't quite in the clear after getting by Nemechek. Friesen inched toward Sauter in the final two laps but couldn't get closer than two-tenths of a second.

The runner-up finish was the third of the season for Friesen. That was it. I thought I had him pinched behind a lapped vehicle, just gave him a little too much room. After Christopher Bell started on the pole and led the first 31 laps, Nemechek began to dominate the race with his first lead on a Lap 32 restart. "We put on a clinic tonight, led a ton of laps!"

Parker Kligerman was fourth, with Todd Gilliland fifth.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Celebrate at Their Engagement Party
Joe Jonas also welcomed Chopra to the family, posting the same image with the caption: " I couldn't be happier for my brother ". Nick perhaps provided us with the sweetest moment from the party where fiance Priyanka and he can be seen kissing his parents.

Enfinger clinched his spot in the top eight by starting the race, and Friesen secured the No. 7 slot in the second stage.

The other seven drivers joining Sauter in the playoffs include Noah Gragson, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Justin Haley, Matt Crafton and Brett Moffit, who is 2nd in playoff points behind Sauter with 27. Dalton Sargeant, No. 25 Chevrolet 12. Nemechek ran Sauter down in traffic, retaking the lead on lap 177. Ben Rhodes, No. 41 Ford 8. He also won both of the 55-lap stages. Nemechek led two times for a race-high 104 laps as the top three finishers were all in Chevrolets.

(14) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 198. He started 17th in the lineup and completed 161 laps of the 200-lap race before exiting the race (Power Steering). Sauter got out of the pits first after the second stage, while Nemechek came off fourth. The lap traffic was to our advantage.

The playoffs start next week across the border in Burketon, Ontario, Canada at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the Chevrolet Silverado 250.

"At the end of the day, we can only do our best", Sauter said. "I don't think anybody ever got complacent, I think we got off our game a little bit at Kentucky and Eldora's always tough for me". "That's all you can ask for".

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