Johnny Sauter Holds off Jonathan Eilen for ARCAMT Dells Victory
Johnny Sauter took an off weekend from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule and came back to the track where he started his racing career to win the Escape to Wisconsin 100 on Saturday night at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Sauter, who said he started racing at Dells Raceway Park in a street stock 22 years ago, held off the Ironman Jonathan Eilen in a classic short track battle that had the fans intently watching throughout the 100-lap event.
Sauter started third and didn’t waste his time getting the lead from Eilen, who started on the pole, as Sauter slipped by Eilen on lap four.
A lap later, the only caution of the event flew when Gabe Sommers and Billy Mohn made contact in turn four causing Mohn to spin.
On the restart, Sauter would pull away as Andrew Morrissey went to second.
Eilen would get by Morrissey on lap 23 and start to chase down Sauter for the lead.
Eilen would be glued to Sauter’s bumper and looked to the inside for the lead on lap 54, but Sauter would keep the top spot. On lap 63, Eilen would try to bump and run him off of turn four, but Sauter held his ground going into turn one.
A few laps later, the two would race into heavy lap traffic and Eilen wasn’t able to get close to Sauter and make another challenge for the victory.
Sauter would get the victory aby 0.455 seconds over Eilen with Morrissey in third.
“It was really dominant for 50 laps and it really started going away on me. I was tight in the center then loose on exit, but the worse part was that I was loose on entry, so I really couldn’t arc the corner to center it. So, I had to buckle down with 30 to go,” Sauter said after the race. “They were like, he is a half back and I am like uh oh, then lap traffic was my friend tonight.”
Saturday’s win was Sauter’s sixth in the ARCA Midwest Tour.
Eilen was hoping for a big birthday celebration but settled for second.
“The car was really, really good. It just sucks when you are that close, and these races are hard to win, and then come up short,” Eilen said. “Lap traffic just didn’t come in our favor at all. But hey you can’t complain too much with second place, I will take that any day. But, we are right there, and we just can’t seal the deal.”
Andrew Morrissey earned his fifth top-five of the season with a third-place finish. He was hoping for a late caution to get back in the hunt for the lead.
“They got away from me until about halfway and then I started reeling them back in,” Morrissey said. “But with the way I caught lap traffic, I just couldn’t make any ground on them.”
Carson Kvapil earned his second top five finish in three ARCAMT starts by finishing fourth.
Dalton Zehr inched his way closer to the point lead by finishing fifth. Current ARCAMT point leader Austin Nason finished ninth.
For Johnny Sauter, the 2018 racing season has been very good for him so far with five wins and the regular season championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and with a couple of wins in his Super Late Model that he prepares himself along with some of his friends.
“It’s right up there,” Sauter said. “Winning five truck series, and they are big races, is pretty special. We have a long way to go to finish that deal off, but it has been a great year winning a couple short track races. It’s just fun to work hard and see it all pay off, this is what it is all about.”
The ARCA Midwest Tour will now take a well-deserved break after three straight weekends of events and prepare for the 49th Annual Otkoberfest Race Weekend on October 4, 5, 6, 7 at the La Crosse Fairground Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin. Make your plans now to join us and witness a great battle for the championship that will definitely come down to the last lap.
Visit midwesttour.racing for a full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@MidwestTour).