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NASCAR

Johnny Sauter saves his tires, Wins the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway

Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

Johnny Sauter was able to save his truck and his tires to take advantage of that and win the NASCAR Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

20 year old Jeb Burton led the field to green and a lot of the race but couldn’t hold back the NASCAR veterans at Martinsville Speedway. Jeb led the first 76 laps on his way to leading 154 laps out of 250.  In the last 20 laps he wore out his tires and eventually gave way to Johnny Sauter.  With 17 laps to go Johnny passed him on his way to win the race.  Johnny only led those 17 laps.

Jeb Burton said, “That was my fault. I thought there was 40 (laps) to go, and there was actually was 60 to go, and I went a little harder than I needed to.

Johnny Sauter driving the No. 98 – Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota started the race in the fourth position.  In some of his initial runs his tires were wearing badly.  His crew chief Joe Shear Jr. and his team worked on the truck all day in order to keep the tires from wearing, at one point loosening the truck up quite a bit.

Johnny said, “We all knew today was going to be about tire management, just from the tire wear we saw, more so than ever before that I can ever remember here at Martinsville. The first part of the race, we ran 80 percent, just trying to maintain and not lose too much track position, but still try to run as fast as we could.

This is Johnny’s second win at Martinsville Speedway; Johnny Sauter has now won both of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2013 and is the point’s leader.  He has a 12 point lead over Jeb Burton and 17 point lead over Matt Crafton.  He is also second driver to start the Truck Series season with back to back wins, Mark Martin was the first.

Matt Crafton was second, Jeb Burton (Highest finishing Rookie) was third, Timothy Peters was fourth and Darrell Wallace Jr. fifth.  16 year old Erik Jones finished the race ninth.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary. On Pinterest at NASCARnews. Also add to your network on Google.