Sauter Passes Nemechek Late, Wins UNOH 200 At Bristol

It was another heartbreaking defeat for John Hunter Nemechek in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. A month in-a-half ago, the second generation driver was a lap away from winning the race at the Chicagoland Speedway. Instead, he had a malfunction on the final lap which gifted the win to Brett Moffitt.

On Thursday night at the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway, Nemechek was five laps away from winning for his first time on the high banked concrete oval. Unfortunately, he had another issue in the end and was forced to a third place finish in his No. 8 Chevrolet. 

Nemechek, won the first two stages of Thursday’s UNOH 200 and led a race high 104 of 200 laps. He was able to use lapped traffic to his advantage on Lap 176 and passed Johnny Sauter for the top spot. He had set his sails for the win and was well on his way in doing so. Instead, lapped traffic in turn slowed him up and an issue occurred which allowed Sauter to chase him down and pass him with five laps-to-go.

Sauter, would lead the final four laps en route to his fifth win of the season as he won the season opener and the regular season finale in his No. 21 Chevrolet. Sauter, was victorious for the first time of his career at Bristol and for the 22nd time overall in the Truck Series tying him with Todd Bodine for fifth ever.

It was Sauter’s first win in seven races as the last time he won was at Texas on June 8. At the time, that was his seventh top five in eight tries. But, he faltered a bit lately as despite having 10 top five finishes through the first 11 races of the season, Sauter has finished of 15th, 16th and eighth respectively after.

Then came a runner-up effort in a photo finish last weekend in Michigan and now a win in Bristol.

Stewart Friesen brought his No. 52 Chevrolet home second for his fifth straight top 10 finish. He now has three runner-ups on the season and heads to the playoffs with four top four finishes over his last five starts on the year.

Nemechek limped home third for his second top five of the year.

Parker Kligerman brought his No. 75 Chevrolet home fourth while Todd Gilliland rebounded from an early race spin to round out the top five in fifth. Gilliland, needed to win tonight to get into the playoffs but a fifth place run was all he could muster in his No. 4 Ford. It was Gilliland’s third straight top seven finish on the year.

Matt Crafton secured the final playoff spot and joins Sauter, Moffitt, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhodes, Friesen, Grant Enfinger and Justin Haley in this year’s playoffs.

The next race and opening race of the playoffs is on Aug. 26 at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 (2:30 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

UNOH 200 Results

  1. 21 Sauter
  2. 52 Friesen
  3.  8 Nemechek
  4. 75 Kligerman
  5.  4 Gilliland R
  6. 24 Haley
  7. 41 Rhodes
  8. 88 Crafton
  9. 18 Gragson
  10. 98 Enfinger
  11. 25 Sargeant R
  12. 38 Chastain -1
  13. 22 Self -1
  14. 20 Thorson -2
  15. 54 Herbst -2
  16.  9 Rohrbaugh -2
  17. 15 Parsons -2
  18. 16 Moffitt -2
  19.  2 Coughlin -2
  20. 68 Greenfield -3
  21. 02 Hill -3
  22.  3 Anderson -3
  23. 49 Chavous -4
  24. 45 Fontaine R -4
  25. 04 Rope -5
  26. 97 Little -6
  27.  7 Forrister -12
  28. 51 Bell -16
  29. 13 Snider R OUT
  30. 42 Finley OUT
  31. 30 Lagasse Jr. OUT
  32. 83 Currey OUT

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