GMS RACING NCWTS LAS VEGAS RECAP

By October 2, 2017News

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado

  Las Vegas Recap
Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet Silverado, returned to the site of his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win looking to turn around his luck in the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs. Sauter was one of the fastest trucks in both practice sessions for Saturday night’s Las Vegas 350, finishing first in the first session and fourth in the final session.

  The Necedah, Wis., native just missed earning his first pole of the season, but for the sixth time this year started from the front row for the 146-lap race. The Allegiant Chevrolet became loose toward the end of the first 35-lap stage and lacked front grip. Sauter ended Stage One in the second position and pitted for four tires, fuel, and a chassis and air pressure adjustment, before lining up to start Stage Two from the fourth position.

  As the field took the green flag for the second stage on lap 42, the No. 21 Allegiant Chevrolet was hit from behind on a restart forcing him into the No. 24 truck on the inside. Sauter’s truck received heavy damage forcing him to pit twice for repair work and tires. Despite the damage, Sauter returned to the track and regained his position within the top-10 with less than 10 laps left in the stage. He finished Stage Two in the ninth position reporting that the No. 21 still had speed but shifted from loose to tight throughout the previous run.

  Sauter continued to run in the top-10 until a flat tire forced him to pit under green, followed by a pit road speeding penalty that put him three laps down. The Allegiant Chevrolet was still one of the fastest trucks in the race, allowing Sauter to stay ahead of the leaders and not lose anymore track position. As the frontrunners began to pit in the closing laps for fuel, Sauter stayed out regaining two of his laps and track position to finish 10th, just one lap down.

  Quote
“Our Allegiant Chevrolet had tons of speed today, this should have been a win or at least a top five finish, but unfortunately a lot of times it’s the actions of others that ruin your race. The No. 21 team did a great job keeping up in the second half of the race, it just seemed like the hits kept coming. We’ve got Talladega up next which will give us another good shot at a win and set us up strong for these last five races.”

  Additional Info
– Sauter is fourth in the Driver Championship Playoff standings, 24 points ahead of the cutoff line.

  JUSTIN HALEY
No. 24 MyWhy Chevrolet Silverado

  Las Vegas Recap
Justin Haley, making his first start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, showed a lot of speed in the MyWhy Chevrolet during both of Saturday’s practice sessions for the Las Vegas 350. Haley advanced to the second round of qualifying with the third fastest time and ultimately ran the eighth-fastest lap in the final round.

  As the green flag waved for the start of the 146-lap race, the field was brought under caution for the first time, with Haley sustaining damage to the MyWhy Chevrolet. He visited the No. 24 team on pit road for repairs and returned to the track in the 24th position. The race returned to green on lap five with Haley immediately moving toward the front. By lap 11 he was scored in the 15th position, but as the race continued green the MyWhy Chevy began to tighten up. He finished Stage One in the 13th position.

  Haley pitted under the break for right side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, lining up fifth for the beginning of Stage Two. As the field took the green flag, Haley was once again caught up in a wreck as the No. 21 truck was turned into him going into Turn One. Haley pitted multiple times for repairs and returned to the track to finish out the race. As the end of Stage Two approached, Haley reported, from the 17th position, that the MyWhy Chevy was fast but the damage was causing it to shift to loose mid-run.

  The final stage began with Haley, one lap down, picking up a few spots as other trucks began to have issues. Running 14th with 30 laps to go, he radioed to the team that he seemed to be having engine problems, ultimately taking the No. 24 to the garage on lap 118. Haley was scored 21st in his first start at LVMS.

  Quote
“We had a really fast MyWhy Chevrolet this weekend. I would have liked to have given it a fair run, but we just never could catch a break. We did everything right as a team and we should just hold our heads high on that.”

  Additional Info
– Haley is eighth in the Owner Championship Playoff standings, 15 points behind the cutoff line.

  KAZ GRALA
No. 33 Kiklos Chevrolet Silverado

  Las Vegas Recap
Showing speed early on in Saturday morning’s practice sessions at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), Kaz finished final practice fastest overall and went on to qualify 14th for the Las Vegas 350.

  When the 146-lap race began, Kaz fought his way to seventh place and ran there until the caution came out on lap 37 for the conclusion of Stage One. Crew chief Jerry Baxter called the No. 33 down pit road under the break for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to tighten up the Kiklos Chevy. Unfortunately though, after a miscommunication on pit road resulted in a lengthy stop, Kaz restarted 14th for the start of Stage Two. However, on the restart, Kaz did his best to maneuver around an accident but got slight damage to the right front of his Chevrolet Silverado. The No. 33 team fixed the damage on pit road, keeping Kaz on the lead lap.

  Restarting 16th on lap 48, Kaz worked to make up track position during the second stage, ultimately finishing 11th at the break. Coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to try tighten the Kiklos Chevy up, Kaz lined up 11th for the start of the final stage. Making his way into the top-10 as a long green flag run ensued, Kaz reported that his No. 33 was continuing to swing to the free side the longer he went. Coming to pit road under green on lap 124, Kaz got four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to aid in his Chevy’s handling for the remainder of the race. As pit strategy played out, the caution came out on lap 133. Restarting fourth with 7 laps remaining, Kaz crossed the finish line with a fifth-place finish in his LVMS debut.

  Quote
“I said from the beginning that it would take solid top-five runs to make it through the first round of The Playoffs and that’s what we had tonight. There were a couple issues early on, but the No.33 team gave me a fast Kiklos Chevy and we were able to get a good finish. This was the best truck we’ve unloaded with all season at a mile-and-a-half track and it makes me optimistic about the rest of the year; we just have to get through Talladega first.”

  Additional Info
– After the second race of The Playoffs, Kaz is seeded seventh in the NCWTS Playoff Standings, 8 points below the cutoff line.

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