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(Photo: Zach Catanzareti)

Johnny Sauter Wins Chicagoland Truck Series Race, Ben Rhodes Makes Playoffs

Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks

Christopher Bell dominated Friday night in Chicagoland but, in the end, just the slightest of wiggles handed the victory over to Johnny Sauter. The defending champion capitalized on Bell’s mistake in the end to secure his second victory of 2017. Chase Briscoe made strides toward the leader after passing Bell but would have to settle for second, tying his best career finish for the third time this season.

Bell wound up third while Ryan Truex and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top-five finishers. Truex, who entered the night outside the playoff picture tied with Ben Rhodes in the regular season standings. A second-place finish that Rhodes earned at Pocono earlier this year would prove to be the tiebreaker, sending the No. 27 to the playoffs and the No. 16 out of them.

Stage One

Truex earned his first career pole earlier in the day and would lead the field to green alongside Briscoe. The first stage would be slowed by caution twice, once at lap two for Gray Gaulding and again with six laps left for Myatt Snider spinning on the backstretch.

A one-lap shootout would decide the ending of stage one with Truex, Sauter, Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek, and Jordan Anderson staying out on older tires. Meanwhile, drivers like Bell and Crafton pitted for fresh rubber. When the green flag flew, Anderson would fall back, but Truex would keep his track position and ultimately win the first stage.

Stage One Results 

  1. Ryan Truex
  2. Johnny Sauter
  3. Ben Rhodes
  4. John Hunter Nemechek
  5. Chase Briscoe
  6. Austin Cindric
  7. Matt Crafton
  8. Christopher Bell
  9. Regan Smith
  10. Noah Gragson

Stage Two

Truex and drivers who stayed during the final caution of stage one had to pit, handing the lead to Brad Keselowski Racing teammates Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe. Briscoe got a push from Bell that sent him to the lead until Bell made the pass himself with 16 to go. From there, he’d simply sail off with the stage two victory.

Stage Two Results

  1. Christopher Bell
  2. Chase Briscoe
  3. Matt Crafton
  4. Johnny Sauter
  5. Austin Cindric
  6. Justin Haley
  7. John Hunter Nemechek
  8. Ryan Truex
  9. Myatt Snider
  10. Noah Gragson

Final Stage

Bell’s pit crew got the No. 4 off pit road ahead of Crafton and Cindric to set up the front row for the first restart of the final stage. Austin Cindric would make a risky move, making it three wide and he’d make contact with Matt Crafton. Crafton would have a tire going down and would begin to fall, almost collecting Ben Rhodes in the process.

Rhodes would have a slight tire rub that would eventually work itself out. Crafton’s situation would get worse and he would eventually spin coming off Turn 4. That put out an important caution for the leaders, giving them an opportunity to pit.

Justin Haley would stay out, hoping for a later caution that would never come. Chase Briscoe would take the lead with Ryan Truex in tow and it would stay that way until Sauter made the pass for the lead. From there, he’d never look back en route to his 15th career victory.

Race Results 

  1. Johnny Sauter
  2. Chase Briscoe
  3. Christopher Bell
  4. Ryan Truex
  5. Grant Enfinger
  6. Ben Rhodes
  7. John Hunter Nemechek
  8. Noah Gragson
  9. Kaz Grala
  10. Myatt Snider
  11. Cody Coughlin
  12. Regan Smith
  13. Tyler Young
  14. Justin Haley
  15. Austin Cindric
  16. Matt Crafton
  17. Justin Fontaine
  18. Wendell Chavous
  19. Josh Reaume
  20. Austin Wayne Self
  21. Jordan Anderson
  22. Camden Murphy
  23. Norm Benning
  24. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  25. Gray Gaulding
  26. Ted Minor
  27. Mike Harmon
  28. Tommy Regan
  29. Kevin Donahue
  30. B.J. McLeod
  31. Joe Nemechek
  32. Mike Senica
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About Christian Koelle

Christian Koelle
Christian Koelle returns to Fronstretch in 2019 in a little different form. After a year and a half of being a news writer, Koelle will contribute ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards content and photography in multiple different series over the course of the season. His favorite tracks include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

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