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Johnny Sauter wins the WinStar 350

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Nov. 02, 2012

It isn’t a championship, but it will do.

Johnny Sauter passed Parker Kligerman on Lap 137 of 147 and held on to win Friday night’s WinStar 350, giving him a season sweep of both NASCAR Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kligerman used a two-tire stop to gain the lead, but Sauter methodically ran him down. It took Sauter several attempts to finally get around Kligerman.

Sauter joins Ron Hornaday (2008) and Brendan Gaughan (2002 and 2003) as the only series drivers to sweep both Texas races.

“We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year, quite frankly,” Sauter said. “It was an awesome performance. The truck was just awesome (Thursday) in practice.

“I wasn’t worried about the last pit stop. I figured I’d have time to catch (Kligerman). I knew four (new) tires would prevail. It’s another win and we just need to finish … strong.”

Nelson Piquet Jr. finished third, Kyle Busch was fourth and Ty Dillon fifth.

Points leader James Buescher was 11th and holds a 15-point lead over Dillon with two races to go.

“The track was crazy slick – there was no grip. From the start everybody was spinning tires,” Buescher said. “My truck got some damage on the right rear and we were tight the rest of the night.

“It’s unfortunate, but it could have been worse. I’m happy to get a decent finish under the circumstances.”

Busch had an eventful race.

Midway through he had to make multiple pit stops because of a battery issue. He never went a lap down, but at one point he restarted as the last car on the lead lap.

“It was frustrating, just like the rest of our year,” Busch said. “Unfortunately we had a battery or alternator or something going wrong.”

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