It was a day that Johnny Sauter has been waiting for throughout his career and it finally became a reality today as he dominated and won the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment’s Oktoberfest 200 presented by JE Pistons.
Sauter, who also won the fast qualifier award, started ninth and took over the lead on lap 34 and led the final 166 laps to easily take the victory over defending winner and four-time Tour Champion Ty Majeski.
“Yeah, we got one, this is cool,” a smiling Sauter said in victory lane. “It’s a lot of work with a lot of great people helping me do this stuff. This is fun, and it’s rewarding when you can win, especially with the trouble I have had with this car. We were leading a race and the motor shut off. We worked our butts off and this is gratifying.”
Dan Fredrickson and Jason Weinkauf swapped the lead back in forth throughout the first 30 laps of the race, while Johnny Sauter and Ty Majeski worked their way to the front.
Sauter’s march to the front ended on lap 34 when he took over the top spot from Weinkauf. Majeski followed him to the second spot. Weinkauf fell back to third.
Sauter continued lead as many stayed out during the first competition yellow on lap 50. After the caution, Sauter led with Majeski not far behind him.
The caution flew on lap 70 when Michael Ostdiek and John DeAngelis tangled in turn two. Both were able to restart at the back of the field.
The competition yellow flew on lap 114 and the entire field came down pit road during the competition, thus allowing the entire field to come back out in the same order as they were when they came in for their stop.
After the restart, Sauter and Majeski both continued to pace the field with direct competition.
The final competition caution came with 21 laps to go in the event. Both Sauter and Majeski chose the inside line, allowing third place runner Fredrickson to take the outside and restart alongside with Sauter.
The final yellow flew with nine to go when Dillon Hammond spun in turn one collecting Austin Nason and Jason Weinkauf. All three were able to continue, but fell to the back of the pack.
It was a single file restart with nine to go and Sauter pulled away as Majeski and Fredrickson put on a spirited battle for the second spot.
At the checkers, it was Sauter picking his official first Oktoberfest 200 presented by JE Pistons victory while Majeski edged Fredrickson at the line for second.
“Johnny was just a little bit better. Our car was pretty good, it really was,” Majeski said after the race. “I tried to get it done at the end and I was playing more defense then offense. Danny and I were racing pretty hard and that was a lot of fun. When I had a few open laps, I could maintain with Johnny but not catch him. Overall he was just better.”
Fredrickson saw an opportunity with the final double file restart with 15 laps to go in the race. Sauter and Majeski both chose the inside line, allowing Fredrickson to grab the outside front row for the restart.
“I got a wife to go home too, and I was in third, and nobody took the outside, she would lock me out the door,” Fredrickson said with a grin. “I tried, but I just about wrecked going into the corner and the brakes were fading. I forgot to pump them up and we went in there and I about crashed it, if I pumped them I may have gotten the lead.”
Dalton Zehr finished fourth with Andrew Morrissey rounding out the top five.
Michael Ostdiek finished 17th and was crowned the 2017 ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment Rookie of the Year.
Two 15-lap last chance races helped fill the field for today’s Oktoberfest 200 presented by JE Pistons. The top-five from each race advanced to the feature field.
Casey Johnson won the first last chance with Dennis Prunty in second and Justin Mondiek in third. Erik Darnell and Travis Dassow also advanced to the main event.
In the second last chance race, Chris Weinkauf easily won over Michael Ostdiek, Dean LaPointe, Bubba Pollard and Michael Sauter.
ARCA Midwest Tour will announce their 2018 schedule before the end of 2017.
Visit midwesttour.racing for the full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).