2017-11-10 Johnny Sauter wins a caution rich Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway.
After the 6th caution and final restart with 2 laps to go, Johnny Sauter got out in front and kept the would be wreckers behind him and off his bumper to win his first at Phoenix Raceway and the 17th of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career.
“We didn’t have the best truck,” Sauter said. “We had a great truck on long runs. He (Nemechek) had fresher tires, but I knew if I could have a good Turn 1 (on the restart) and get a good launch off that corner, we’d be OK.”
Austin Cindric will advanced into the NASCAR Truck Series Championship of 4 in controversial fashion, following contact between him and Ben Rhodes on a restart with 22 laps to go.
Lining up ninth for the restart, Rhodes threw a block on Cindric that caused him to spin into teammate Matt Crafton and out of the race. It was a disastrous end for Rhodes whom had led over Cindric for the majority of the night. It was only a decision to pit that placed the two so close together for that fateful restart.
“They’d been doing what they needed to to beat us and on that restart I had envisioned us getting the perfect restart and trying to pop the inside if I did,” Cindric said after the race. “I popped the inside. Obviously, he was there because we made contact and it’s a really tough spot for the spotters to be able to see because it’s coming head-on as the spotters here are in turn one, so I’m sure his spotter was telling him to defend the bottom or ‘looking inside’ and, sure enough, I was on the inside. It’s one of those racing deals. Two guys fighting for the same amount of real estate.”
“I think that there was still a lot of racing to do,” Rhodes said. “I could have done the same move to the guy in front of me, but chose not to do it because it wasn’t the time. He put me in a bad place and trying to do everything I could to keep the spot, but once you file into Turn 1 we were all going to wreck, so I’m not sure that was the right move on his part. I did everything I could to just make sure we were having a good day. We were in front of him all day long and we were going to be into the final four and I don’t know. It looked like a desperation move to me because there’s so much racing left to do. I guess if I was in his position, I mean I can’t blame him, but it’s definitely not the move I would have liked to see this early in the race. There’s so much to go on.”