Sauter excited to return to site of first career NCWTS victory this weekend
Las Vegas Motor Speedway will always be a special place for reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Johnny Sauter.
The Necedah, Wis., native drove to his first career NCWTS victory at the popular 1.5-mile track in 2009 and will be back on Saturday to compete in the Las Vegas 350 playoff race. Sauter is one of two past Las Vegas winners - along with 2013 champion Timothy Peters - competing in the 146-lap event and can't wait to get back to LVMS and the "Entertainment Capital of the World."
"Let's face it, who doesn't like going to Vegas?" said Sauter, who drives for GMS Racing. "It will always be special to me because it was where I got my first win, but even prior to that, it was a great track for me. Obviously, now there's a little more pressure with (my sponsor) Allegiant's headquarters being there, but that's OK, pressure is good."
Sauter has fond memories from his 2009 triumph.
"I remember having the best truck in practice and the track being very fast," he said. "However, I remember just missing the pole, and that was such a bummer. You never forget wins, but that night, we were on rails. I absolutely love that track!"
The 39-year-old veteran has 15 career Truck Series victories and would love to add another this weekend. He has seen LVMS' oval change through the years and believes its character will add to the racing drama once the green flag drops.
"The track itself has changed a lot over last couple of years," he said. "The bumps are more pronounced than ever before, and the asphalt doesn't seem to have quite as much grip, but honestly I think it'll be great racing conditions."
Above all, Sauter is excited to see LVMS host another NCWTS Playoff race.
"There isn't a better to place to have NASCAR Playoffs race than Vegas, and not just because of my history there," Sauter said. "The location has the big-event feel that you want to associate with a race that holds so much importance at this point in the season. It's a hype venue, so it's a perfect fit."
The green flag for the NCWTS race - the second race in the truck series' playoffs - drops at 5 p.m., and the event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1. The track's wildly popular Neon Garage opens at 8:30 a.m. and is free to all attendees, and practice sessions run from 8:30-9:25 a.m. and 10-10:55 a.m.
In addition, the driver autograph session will take place from 1-2 p.m. in the Fan Engagement Area, and qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m.
For race tickets, call 1-800-644-4444 or log on to www.LVMS.com.