GMS RACING NCWTS NEW HAMPSHIRE RECAP

By September 24, 2017News

JOHNNY SAUTER
No. 21 ISM Connect Chevrolet Silverado

New Hampshire Recap
Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 21 ISM Connect Chevrolet Silverado, started from the third position forSaturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The first 55-lap stage went green, with Sauter reporting that the truck started off too tight but became free on entry throughout the run. He pitted at the stage break from the fifth position for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, restarting from the seventh position as a handful of trucks only took two tires.

On lap 65, as stage two was just getting underway, the No. 18 truck spun in front of Sauter and made contact with the right side of the No. 21. Despite heavy damage, Joe Shear, Jr., called for Sauter to remain on track after making sure there was no tire rub. The damage sustained affected the handling of the ISM Chevy with the driver asking for more drive late in the second stage as he maintained his position within the top 10. As the green and white checkered waved to complete the second stage, Sauter pitted for four tires, fuel, a chassis adjustment and repair work for the No. 21. He returned to the track in the 14th position.

Sauter worked his way back into the top 10 within the first 10 laps of the final stage, reporting under caution on lap 128 that he was way too tight, but staying on track to maintain position. The race resumed on lap 131 and stayed green until the end, with Sauter finishing ninth and bringing home his seventh consecutive top-10 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Quote
“Today it just seemed like we couldn’t catch a break. We ended up qualifying better than we expected and had a lot of speed, but we had so much damage from the 18 truck and that set us pretty far back on handling early in the race. The 21 team did a great job fixing the truck up to where it drove decent at the end and we were able to come out with a top 10 and not take ourselves out of the running for a title.”

Additional Info
– Sauter is second in the Driver Championship Playoff standings, 40 points behind leader Christopher Bell.
– Sauter’s 9th-place finish was his seventh top-10 finish in seven starts at NHMS.

JUSTIN HALEY
No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Silverado

New Hampshire Recap
Justin Haley, driver of the No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet, made his New Hampshire Motor Speedway debut from the 13th position in Saturday’s UNOH 175. As the first 55-lap stage began, Haley relayed to the team that his Chevy was getting progressively tighter as he ran just outside of the top 10 in 14th. At the conclusion of stage one, the 18-year-old brought his truck to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis and air pressure adjustment, returning to the track in the 11th position for the lap 62 restart.

As the race resumed for the start of stage two, Haley worked his way into the top 10 before a caution occurred on lap 65. He maintained his position within the top 10 as the race continued and finished the second stage ninth despite reporting to the team that he thought something may have broke in the rear. With the Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevy handling a bit free on entry at the end of the stage, Haley pitted for two tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment under caution. Seeing no issue with the No. 24 he returned to the track in the third position for the final stage.

Haley fell back to seventh on the lap 118 restart and after 10 laps of green flag racing reported his Chevy had become tight center to exit. He continued on, dropping back to the 13th position as entry became a handful and maintained that position until the end of the race.

Quote
“For some reason we seemed to struggle off and on this weekend, from practice to the race. We weren’t too bad the second stage, but something didn’t feel right with the truck and I think that really played into how the final stage went for us. I know the No. 24 team is working hard to get us to a place where we can put a whole race together and get a win before the season is over so we’ll go back to the shop and make sure we’re as ready as we can be for Vegas next week.”

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

KAZ GRALA
No. 33 NETTTS Chevrolet Silverado

New Hampshire Recap
Returning to his home track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), for the second time in his NCWTS career, Kaz began the weekend ninth and tenth-fastest in Friday’s practice sessions, as well as qualifying 12th for Saturday’s UNOH 175.

Throughout the first 55-lap stage of the race, Kaz battled a NETTTS Chevrolet Silverado that was too tight in the center of the corner but too loose when on the throttle. Holding on to the 11th position when the stage ended, crew chief Jerry Baxter made the strategy call to bring Kaz down pit road for two tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to try to aid in the Chevy’s handling as well as gain track position. Lining up second for the restart on lap 62, Kaz was able to use the clean air to hold off most of the trucks behind him with fresher tires. Scoring valuable stage points at the conclusion of Stage Two by finishing fifth, Kaz reported that his No. 33 had a neutral feel to it that allowed him to position the truck where he needed to on track. Coming down pit road under the stage break, Kaz got four tires and fuel, returning to the track fifth for the final 57 laps of the race. As a long green run ensued, the handling on Kaz’s NETTTS Chevy began to go away, swinging to the loose-side once again. Battling to maintain his position in the top-10 despite handling woes, Kaz crossed the finish line with a 10th-place finishing position at NHMS.

Quote
“As much as I wanted a top-five finish today at New Hampshire (Motor Speedway), I think this was one of the best races I have run all year. We had a solid day of no mistakes. Jerry (Baxter) made a great strategy call to get us some clean air early on, the handling just started to go away on the NETTTS Chevrolet towards the end of the race. These are the types of races we need to have if we want to go further in The Playoffs.”

Additional Info
– After the first race of The Playoffs, Kaz is seeded sixth in the NCWTS Playoff Standings, 3 points above the cutoff line.

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