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Sauter leads Wisconsin trio at Martinsville

Kyle Busch is eligible to do just five races in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the other racers may be glad to see the last of him.

While the Wisconsin trio of Johnny Sauter, Derek Kraus and Travis Kvapil were trying to put the best possible result together, Kyle Busch collected his 201st career NASCAR win and this third straight Truck Series win at the TruNorth Global 250 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday.

Johnny Sauter, from Necedah ended up with the best result among the Wisconsin gang in his #13 ThorSport Tenda heal Ford F-150 despite some in-race frustrations, crossing the line ninth.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, said Sauter in a ThorSport team press release. “But we overcame a lot today with a loose plug wire, and flat tire that resulted in a commitment line violation. So, coming out of Martinsville with a top-10 finish shows how hard our team worked all day and ultimately get some bonus points.”

Derek Kraus was not new to the series, but he was new to Martinsville and he improved each time out, wrapping up with a satisfying 18th place showing in his #19 Bill McAnally Racing ENEOS/Napa Filters Toyota Tundra.

Kraus, 17, from Stratford, made his Truck Series debut near the end of last season in Phoenix and is planning to enter three more series races this season while focusing primarily on the NASCAR K&N Series East and West Series.

Kraus was running in the top 12 before a late race caution set up a three-lap shootout which pushed him down a bit, but on an up and down day, Kraus had to be happy with this showing, including an impressive 11th place qualifying spot that saw him advance through the first two cuts and into the final 12.

“We fell behind early and had to just work throughout the day to get back on the lead lap,” said Krause in a report on the Bill McAnally team website. “Once we did (get on the lead lap), we were able to pass a lot of trucks with our ENEOS Tundra. We got back up there but got caught up in someone else’s mess.

“It’s definitely a challenging place to race,” said Kraus. “It can get frustrating at times, but overall, it was a pretty good day for our BMR team.”

Kvapil, from Janesville, was making his 2019 debut as well in the #1 Beaver Motorsports CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet Silverado, crossing the line 28th.

Busch led after the first 71-Lap stage with Sauter running third, Kraus 17th and Kvapil 28th. After 141 Laps, Ross Chastain led the pack with Sauter seventh, Kraus 19th and Kvapil 28th.

Sauter will be back for the next Truck series race at Texas Motor Speedway, beginning with Practice on Thursday. Kraus will return to the K&N Pro Series West at the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway in California on Saturday.

With the weekend results, Sauter sits in a tie for fourth place with 142 points, just nine behind series points leader, Friesen.

Natalie Decker, 21, from Eagle River missed the Martinsville Race while attending the W Series Second Round tests/tryout in Spain and sits 24th in series points with 42 and Kraus collected 19 points in his debut, good enough for 35th in the standings. Kvapil’s nine points leave him 45th.

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