Johnny Sauter, driver of the ThorSport No. 98 Carolina Nut/Curb Records Toyota, survived the carnage of yet another wild Talladega finish to score his third win of the season.
As Sauter and his teammate came off turn four hooked together in a tandem draft, their rearview mirror filled with the chaos. Miguel Paludo got into the back of Jeb Burton sending him up the track into the No. 51 truck of Kyle Busch. As Busch bounced off the wall back across traffic he slammed into the trucks of Paludo and Darrell Wallace Jr.. Paludo’s truck instantly began flipping down the frontstretch.
To add insult to injury, the trucks of Busch and Wallace came back across the track for another round of destruction. The second place truck of points leader, Matt Crafton, Sauter’s teammate at ThorSport racing, got clipped and turned around. The No. 19 truck of Ross Chastain, who had ran well all day, was turned head on onto the outside wall along with Parker Kligerman.
In total twelve trucks were involved in the final crash as the field neared the start finish line. Fortunately, all driver were treated and released from the infield care center, with the exception of one. Justin Lofton was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Johnny Sauter commented about the win after the race, “This is awesome. I’m so proud of everybody …” he continued about the crash behind him, “I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen. Everybody was fighting for the same real estate.”
Though Crafton was involved in the last lap crash, he managed to make across the finish line in ninth place. Additionally, he actually increased his points lead from 41 to 57. James Buescher who was involved in an earlier crash fell from second to third in points, losing the spot to Ty Dillon.
Talladega once again lived up to its reputation as the wildcard event. Fortunately, for the ThorSport team, they held all the wildcards today.
The series now travels to the shortest track on the circuit, Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 200 on Saturday October 26, 2013.