By: Toby Christie, Editor – Follow on twitter @Toby_Christie
FORT WORTH, Texas — Coming into Friday’s JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnny Sauter has an impressive resume at the 1.5-mile speedway in Fort Worth. The Wisconsin native has three-career Camping World Truck Series wins at this facility and he is the defending champion of this race.
In all, the 39-year-old veteran has 14 top-10 finishes in 18-career starts at this facility.
Thursday, Sauter looked like his usual dominant Texas self as he paced the opening practice session and was fifth-fastest in the second practice. With the speed he’s showing so far, and his sterling performance in the past, Sauter should be the overwhelming favorite to win this race.
If Sauter, the reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, can win this weekend it would secure him a spot in the championship final at Homestead-Miami Speedway in a few weeks.
The only other driver in the field who has won multiple times at Texas is Matt Crafton, who has two-career wins at TMS. But Crafton was mired in 15th and 16th on the speed charts in both sessions.
Last week’s winner, Noah Gragson was also fast on Thursday, as he put up the second-fastest lap time in opening practice, and he was seventh in the second session. In his only previous start at Texas, Gragson finished seventh.
Gragson’s teammate and Point leader Christopher Bell won at Texas earlier this season and he was sixth-fastest in opening practice and 10th-fastest in second practice.
Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images