TALLADEGA, Ala. – Johnny Sauter won the second stage of Saturday’s Fred’s Pharmacy 250 at Talladega Superspeedway to complete a sweep of all four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stage wins on restrictor place race tracks this season.
Sauter won both stages at the Daytona Int’l Speedway season-opener in February and has now won both stages at Talladega this weekend.
After pitting just before the stage-ending caution in the first stage, Austin Cindric stayed out under caution to inherit the top spot and led the field ahead of the next restart.
But when the green flag returned to officially start the second stage on lap 27, the end result was the same as the initial start, with Sauter and GMS Racing teammate Justin Haley blowing past Cindric using a tandem draft on the outside lane and never relinquishing the top spot again.
The stage ran caution-free following its resumption six laps in.
Haley followed Sauter across the line in second at the green-checkered flag, just as he did in the opening stage, followed by Myatt Snider, Cindric and Matt Crafton.
Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Cody Coughlin, Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger completed the top 10 and all scored points at the second stage break.
As a result of his stage points scored, along with issues for playoff contenders Kaz Grala (accident) and Chase Briscoe (mechanical) during the first stage, Nemechek has moved from eighth to sixth in the point standings with 54 laps to go in Saturday’s race.
“It’s all about finishing this race off strong; that’s what we hope to do,” said Nemechek. “We’ve got a good truck … (crew chief) Gere Kennon made some changes to help us being pushed (in the draft), so hopefully we’ll be alright for the rest of this thing. If we have a shot to win, that’ll be great, but we just want to finish well and hopefully point our way in (to the next round).”
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