TALLADEGA, Ala – Johnny Sauter initially thought that his 13 race winless streak had come to an end in Saturday’s Sugarlands Shine 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway. The Wisconsin native grabbed the lead of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race on Lap 93 and would stave off an intense fight in the end to win his first race since May.
Or did he?
Sauter, crossed the finish line first in his No. 13 Ford for what initially was Ford’s 100th career win in the Truck Series. But, his maneuver to hold onto the lead was in question.
Coming into the tri-oval on the 98th and final lap around the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Sauter forced Riley Herbst below the yellow line. Then, he moved up high to block more Trucks which NASCAR later ruled was illegal.
As a result, the win was taken away as Sauter went from being first to officially scored 14th. It’s the fifth time in the last six races that he failed to get a top 10 as the last time he even finished in the top five was in his win back in May at Dover.
Due to his penalty, second place at the time Spencer Boyd was scored as the race winner. It would be Boyd’s first career Truck Series victory in just his 23rd career start. Boyd, 24, finished fourth in the season opener at Daytona as that was his only finish inside of the top 10 all year. His previous best finish was 11th at Texas. Furthermore, each of his last 11 finishes saw him come home 16th or worse.
Now, he’s a race winner.
Boyd, not Sauter, was left celebrating in victory lane on top of his No. 20 Chevrolet. He didn’t cross the finish line in the lead all day but is scored as the victor. To make matters more bizarre, Boyd is racing in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega and had to qualify his Cup car. He was the first qualifier in the session, so his celebration was cut short.
Todd Gilliand would finish second in his No. 4 Toyota for his second straight top five finish and fifth top 10 in his last seven tries.
Herbst, was third in his No. 51 Toyota for his best finish in three career starts. Brett Moffitt and Stewart Friesen would rebound from mid race penalties to round out the top five.