In 2013, Johnny Sauter got off to as good a start as possible — winning the first two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Daytona and Martinsville.
He followed that up with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the next two events at Rockingham and Kansas. However, an accident with James Buescher on lap 115 relegated him to a 28th-place finish and dropped him from first in the standings to sixth, 37 points behind leader Matt Crafton.
When the green flag drops on Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 (5 p.m. ET, SPEED) at Dover International Speedway, Sauter is hoping to return to the top of the points standings, or at least back in the championship conversation.
That, however, could be a tall order.
Although Sauter qualifies well at Dover — his lowest start in four visits to the one-mile concrete track is seventh — his luck doesn’t always carry over into the races. His average finish is 13.8, with only one top-five finish (fifth in 2009).
Sauter can’t put his finger on the exact reason why his stats aren’t better than they are. He’s run well throughout the races, but doesn’t have much to show for it by the end of the race.
“The numbers are just not indicative of how we run there, so all you can do is continue to put your best effort forward — and that’s what we do every week,” said the Wisconsin native. “It’s no different than a lot of race tracks, in that you have to be smart all day and take care of your stuff, but there are some race tracks where you can’t seem to do anything right, and I think a lot of that is luck.”
A strong showing Friday afternoon could put him right back on track to capture his first title.