Chicago winner Johnny Sauter shares his postseason mentality and issues a warning to fellow driver Ben Rhodes.
Johnny Sauter celebrates his first career win at Chicagoland Speedway to end the regular season.
Ride along with Johnny Sauter as he takes you for a lap around Bristol Motor Speedway.
Johnny Sauter , Harrison Burton and others get collected in a multi-truck wreck after Sheldon Creed goes around following contact from the No. 27 of Ben Rhodes.
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Moments after accepting the trophy for fourth place in the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings with his former team, Johnny Sauter shed light on who would fill an important role for his new team. Sauter said that Marcus Richmond will move over to become his crew chief as he transitions to GMS Racing ahead of the 2016 season. Richmond spent the last two seasons with Red Horse Racing, helping guide Timothy Peters and the No. 17 Toyota to three victories during that span. "Obviously, we've already got things set in motion," Sauter said Monday night at the series' annual awards banquet. "As far as people and personnel, we've still got a couple guys that we're trying to assemble to make it what we want it to be, but obviously Marcus Richmond's going to come over and be the crew chief and he's got some key people that he thinks are going to help the program. … Lot of work to be done in a few short months, but they're working hard." GMS announced on Oct. 15 that Sauter would become a teammate to Spencer Gallagher after spending the last seven seasons driving the ThorSport Racing No. 98 Toyota. On Monday, Sauter revealed another key piece of the puzzle. Peters closed out the season with a change atop the pit box, with veteran Butch Hylton replacing Richmond for the finale. Though their work partnership may have ended, Peters said his long-running friendship with Richmond -- with roots all the way back to childhood years -- would endure. "Hate the circumstances for sure, but it was a mutual decision to part ways with Red Horse and Marcus," said Peters, who finished fifth in the season-long truck series standings. "Definitely, he and I are still best friends and wish him well."
A 2015 rewind and a 2016 preview for the top five finishers last season in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Today: Johnny Sauter , the fourth-place finisher in the truck series standings. Team: ThorSport Racing No. 98 Toyota (2015); GMS Racing Chevrolet (2016) 2015 wins: 0 Strides: Sauter showed signs of consistency in his final season with ThorSport by matching his career-best of 16 top-10 finishes, including setting a personal best of third place at New Hampshire. Setbacks: Besides being shut out of the win column for the first time since 2008, Sauter & Co. struggled in qualifying with just four top-five starting positions in 23 races. Quoteworthy: "I wouldn't have [switched teams] if I didn't think it was an opportunity to go win a championship, so I'm excited about it, obviously getting back with Chevrolet and my relationship with those people is great, so ECR power and assembling the right people, I don't see any reason why we can't go win races and win a championship." What's next: After seven successful seasons with ThorSport, Sauter opens a new chapter with a new team (GMS), a new crew chief (Marcus Richmond) and a new manufacturer (Chevy) in hopes of ending a winless drought that dates to August 2014 (a stretch of 33 races).
Johnny Sauter holds off a surging Kaz Grala to conquer the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway and win the Bar Harbor 200.
Ben Rhodes and Ryan Truex battle for the final playoff spot for the Camping Truck World Series while Johnny Sauter wins the race.
Johnny Sauter talks about the last restart and the decision to stay out on old tires that potentially cost him a victory at Iowa.
RELATED: Full race results " Truck Series Chase Grid " Race recap HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Johnny Sauter remembers well the first time he talked to GMS Racing competition director Mike Beam about making a significant career change. While at the hospital for the birth of his third child in September 2015, Sauter scurried away to the parking deck for a 45-minute chat about driving for the upstart organization. That period in Sauter's life wound up being the rare lightning-strikes-twice instance of two life-changing events coinciding. The longtime journeyman, in the first year of his partnership with the Maurice Gallagher-owned team, realized his life's dream Friday night by clinching his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship with a gritty third-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Though the bonds forged between Sauter and GMS, like his toddler-aged daughter, are barely a year old, the team was front of mind for the veteran driver after crossing under the checkered flag. He offered a rapid succession of thank-yous over the team radio, a champion at last. "I never thought that would happen," Sauter radioed in during the cool-down lap. "This is because of you guys." Sauter made a self-described "leap of faith" in the offseason after spending seven seasons with perennial powerhouse ThorSport Racing. During his tenure with the Ohio-based organization, Sauter regularly competed for victories and finished among the top five in series points in five of those seven years. Yet his first discussions with GMS brought newfound energy, a near-instant comfort level and confidence in the group's dedication to building a title-contending team. Renewing his family's long-running General Motors allegiances by shifting to a Chevrolet team was also an important motivator. "People is a big ingredient," Sauter said. "There's just a lot of little things. I could sit here all night and talk about it. It's just the whole package. I just felt very comfortable about meeting the Gallagher family. I'm not sitting up here blowing smoke, I'm telling you the truth. I felt very comfortable that night and knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of." For Gallagher, the move to bring Sauter to the fold was nearly two years in the making. Since the operation's full-fledged launch in 2014, GMS Racing has fielded trucks for a host of several part-time Sprint Cup stars along with relative newcomers to the series, but the 38-year-old Sauter represented an element that was missing. " Johnny was that kind of constant," Gallagher said. "He shows up with that kind of experience -- and I call him the old salt -- and you just can't put a price on that kind of been there, done that. He was terrific with the younger guys, and I couldn't ask for a better teammate. It's an investment. You do it, and you hope to have the outcome we had. You'd like to think that every investment pays off. It's hard in this business, but this one has paid off in spades." The new partnership bore fruit with immediacy after a victory in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway . The team then peaked in the series' first-ever Chase postseason, with two wins in the Round of 6 clinching Sauter's title shot in style. Friday night's performance, rallying from a 19th-place starting spot and outdueling former teammate Matt Crafton in a sterling battle down the stretch, represented a coronation for the 15-year veteran with experience in all three NASCAR national series. It also meant the first season-long laurels for Sauter since a championship in the former American Speed Association (ASA) AC-Delco Challenge Series in 2001. And it also signified a long-awaited celebration for a Wisconsin family with a rich devotion to racing. "It's all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together," Sauter said. "Sometimes it works out, and I've always said, timing is everything. You know, I feel like the timing is good where I'm at right now." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;