Sauter Overcomes Youthful Field at Martinsville

You never realize how much you miss something until it’s gone. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is definitely no exception.

With all the controversy going on in the Cup series recently, something else to talk about was craved. Something along the lines of a spark-filled show and a shower of champagne on a lesser known face. That’s what was needed to break up the monotony.

So, after a long, six-week hiatus, the Trucks were back at Martinsville, quenching the thirst of race fanatics everywhere.

It was also refreshing to see someone new get the pole. Jeb Burton, the 20-year old son of former Cup driver Ward Burton, broke the track’s record in qualifying, becoming the youngest polesitter in the series. Also on the front row was Darrell Wallace Jr., the 19-year old behind the wheel of the KBM #54.

The youth was blinding with six other teenagers in the field, including Truck newbie Chase Elliott. Everyone knew that this was going to be a hectic race.

And a hectic race it was, yielding eleven cautions and a ton of carnage. The lead was juggled between a handful of drivers, ranging from young Burton to race favorite Kevin Harvick. Nobody knew who was going to hang onto the lead until that checkered flag flew until a pit stop session and a decision took out one of the contenders.

Harvick didn’t pit when a majority of the field chose to, claiming that fresh tires would be the key at the end. This concluded in him drifting to the back and being lapped near the end of the race. Halfway into this result, he radioed in that they were laying in the bed they made.

Jeb Burton led at the beginning of the race and was looking quite promising, even after getting into a scuffle with Ron Hornaday that put the elder driver in the wall. He was on his way to a win until him and Johnny Sauter began to battle. After he was passed, Matt Crafton came and rubbed salt in the wound. The fresh face captured third in the end, yet he couldn’t help but be disappointed with the outcome.

The winner was Johnny Sauter, seemingly coming out of nowhere. Once he got the lead from Burton, he didn’t let go. He cruised to the checkered flag with a two second lead over teammate Crafton.

This is Sauter’s second win, the driver also claiming the season opener at Daytona. Even after the overdrawn break, he kept that momentum, using it to show how much of a contender he can be for this year’s championship.

Oh, how I missed the Truck series.

The drama! The battling! The young drivers!

Thankfully, they’re at Rockingham next Sunday; I can’t stand to wait and see what happens next.

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