Sauter Wins Chicago, Playoff Field Set

Johnny Sauter

"This is what we needed. This is the momentum." (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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Race Results | Playoff Standings

JOLIET, Ill. - Johnny Sauter won Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series TheHouse.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway while Christopher Bell wrapped up the regular season championship.

The defending series champion scored his 15th career win. He led the final 28 laps Friday night.
 
“We had a great truck yesterday and we were worried with the Cup guys and the XFINITY guys here, the track might change a little bit,” Sauter said. “I can’t thank Hendrick horsepower enough.
 
“This is what we needed. This is the momentum, this is a shot in the arm. I can’t thank my guys enough – this truck was on rails tonight.”
 
Chase Briscoe, Bell, Ryan Truex and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.
 
Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek, Noah Gragson, Kaz Grala and Myatt Snider completed the top-10 finishers.
 
Rhodes secured the final playoff spot edging Truex in a tiebreaker. The ThorSport Racing driver had to rebound from a pit road penalty to race his way into the post-season.
 
“Man, I still can’t believe it,” Rhodes said. “They gave me the hat and I’m like, ‘are you sure this is ours?’ They said we were tied and we got the tiebreaker. I can’t believe it. The truck, all night we struggled. Ever since we unloaded here this has been by far our worst performance overall. It couldn’t come in a worse week to do it. I’m glad we’re in. Overall, everything worked out for us.”
 
Truex led 30 laps Friday night but came up just short of qualifying for the playoffs.
 
“It’s tough, but it’s racing,” Truex said. “We did everything we could aside from win. We just didn’t have the speed that the 4 (Christopher Bell), 29 (Briscoe) and 21 (Sauter) had. I was good on restarts. I could get going on restarts and I felt that was my best shot so I was really, really aggressive on restarts. 
 
“Made it three-wide as often as I could..I had a feeling it would come down to this.”
 
Bell, Sauter, Nemechek, Matt Crafton, Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Rhodes and Grala make up this year’s playoff field.
 
The 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs begin next Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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