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CWTS: Sauter takes third win of the season

(MRN) Johnny Sauter dominated the second half of the race on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading all but nine of the final sixty-seven laps to notch his third victory of the year and take a commanding lead in the standings with the regular season nearing its mid-point. Sauter started from the pole and led five times for a race-high seventy-one laps in posting his twentieth series victory. He carries a fifty-nine-point lead over Noah Gragson into a break in the schedule before competition resumes early next month in Texas. Sauter’s margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was one-point-three seconds. Brandon Jones came home in third place with Brett Moffitt and Ben Rhodes completing the top five. Gragson finished eighth. Todd Gilliland was the highest-finishing rookie, in tenth place. Sauter passed race leader Moffitt near the halfway point of the final stage and then kept his Number-21 G-M-S Racing Chevrolet in front through a series of three restarts down the stretch for his third victory in seven starts this season. The two others came earlier this month at Dover and at Daytona International Speedway in February’s season opener.

Friday’s race featured eleven lead changes – three short of the track record – among five drivers: Sauter, Gragson, Moffitt, John Hunter Nemechek and Jordan Anderson.

There were seven cautions for thirty-six laps.

Stage wins went to Moffitt and Nemechek – who finished fourth and ninth, respectively, in the final overall running order. They were among twenty-two drivers running on the lead lap with Sauter at the checkered flag.

Top 10 Finishers in the NC Education Lottery 200

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. Johnny Sauter (Pole) 71

2. Kyle Busch (4) —

3. Brandon Jones (28) —

4. Brett Moffitt (6) 28

5. Ben Rhodes (7) —

6. Stewart Friesen (10) —

7. Parker Kligerman (27) —

8. Noah Gragson (2) 13

9. John H. Nemechek (9) 21

10. Todd Gilliland (R) (3) —

Unofficial Point Standings – After 7 Races

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER

1. Johnny Sauter 329 —-

2. Noah Gragson 270 -59

3. Brett Moffitt 264 -65

4. Ben Rhodes 250 -79

5. Grant Enfinger 239 -90

6. Matt Crafton 237 -92

7. Stewart Friesen 209 -120

8. Justin Haley 208 -121

9. Dalton Sargeant (R) 193 -136

10. Myatt Snider (R) 189 -140

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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