(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Johnny Sauter Secures First Pole Since 2016 at Texas

Johnny Sauter turned the fastest lap of the final session at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday (Nov. 2) to put a lock on his first pole of 2018 and first pole since the spring Texas race in 2016. For a driver who has tallied 23 victories, Friday’s pole is only his seventh of his Camping World Truck Series career. Noah Gragson will start the race from second, his eighth front-row start of 2018.

Stewart Friesen, the last pole winner at Texas, will start the race from third while Brett Moffitt and David Gilliland rounded out the top-five speeds.

Justin Haley, the pole winner from last fall, qualified in sixth followed by Sheldon Creed, Harrison Burton, Tyler Dippel, Jesse Little, Timmy Hill, and Todd Gilliland who rounded out the top 12.

ThorSport Racing teammates Grant Enfinger (13th) and Matt Crafton (14th) just barely missed making the final round of qualifying. Of the Round of Six, those two have the worst starting positions for tonight’s race (Nov. 2).

Ben Rhodes (16th) made slight contact with the wall at the exit of turn two, his team was diligently working on the right side of the car in order to get it fixed. He will more than likely have to go to the rear for unapproved adjustments.

Gilliland made slight contact with the outside wall at the exit of turn two during the final round of qualifying putting his No. 4 in 12th of 12 drivers. Like Rhodes, Gilliland will probably start from the rear of the field alongside Rhodes due to unapproved adjustments.

Since 34 trucks were entered, two trucks were sent home following qualifying. Reid Wilson and Josh Reaume were the two drivers to fail to qualify.

The JAGS Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway is slated to kick off at 8 p.m. ET with NASCAR RaceDay on FS1. Coverage of the race kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET, also on FS1. The winner of tonight’s race, if he’s a playoff driver and not Johnny Sauter, will punch his ticket to Homestead for the Championship Four.

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Christian Koelle returns to Frontstretch in 2020 as the photo editor at Frontstretch. He will continue to contribute content in the ARCA Menards Series, Sioux Chief Challenge, and ARCA East & West Series. He is also engaged and will be getting married during the 2020 NASCAR off-season.

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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