Race Weekend Central

Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes Collide on Last Lap in Kansas Speedway

Johnny Sauter thought he had made the move of the race late in the going at Kansas Speedway.

Instead, he wound up in the wall on the white flag lap of the race.

After a late-race wreck involving Tyler Reddick with four laps remaining in the race, the race went into overtime. Sauter made a bold move and was able to pass then leader William Byron. The No. 41 of Ben Rhodes followed Sauter around to the front and was running second.

The two drivers took the white flag and it appeared that the race would be between the two of them as Byron had fallen to third. As the two headed into turn three, Rhodes made an aggressive move on Sauter and rammed into Sauter’s left rear. The two drivers crashed up to the top of the track, allowing drivers like Byron and Matt Crafton to drive by on the bottom.

Byron went on to take the lead while Crafton was credited with second. Sauter fell from first to 16th and Rhodes fell from second to 18th.

As expected, Sauter was very frustrated after the race and had some unkind words for Rhodes after the race.

“I got run over by a bozo,” said Sauter. “I don’t know if the kid’s brain-dead or can’t see. It’s just unfortunate that sometimes you can’t race the way you want to.”

Rhodes saw things a little differently.

“Johnny came down as I was trying to hold my line,” Rhodes said. “It’s unfortunate because this team works so hard and I thought we had a truck capable of winning tonight. Disappointing for sure.”

Despite the poor finish, Sauter was actually able to gain a couple of positions in the standings. Sauter moved from 18th to 16th, benefitting from the poor finishes of Austin Wayne Self and Rico Abreu and leapfrogging over both drivers in the points. He is now 43 points out of the lead and 22 points out of 10th place.

Rhodes didn’t fare quite as well. Rhodes fell from 10th to 12th in the standings. He is now 26 points out of the lead and five points out of the top 10.

The series heads to Dover International Speedway next week and only time will tell whether the contact made in this race will carry over to the next one or beyond.

About the author

Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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