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Sauter wins Truck Series race at Dover International track

(AP Photo/Jim Topper)

By DAN GELSTON

AP Sports Writer

DOVER, Del. (AP) Johnny Sauter topped a high school graduate and was faster than a runaway tire on Friday to win the Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

The reigning series champion, Sauter led 33 laps and won for the first time this season and 14th time in a career that dates to 2003. Sauter had finished second in three straight races and is the fifth different winner in six races this season.

"There are just some days when you wake up and you don't feel like it's going to be your day and things don't feel like they're clicking," Sauter said. "I just felt like we were off a little all weekend."

Hardly.

Sauter and Kaz Grala made it a 1-2 finish for GMS Racing. The 18-year-old Grala received his high school diploma from announcer Michael Waltrip in a mock graduation before the race. Grala graduated from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts and for now plans to attend Georgia Tech in the fall and study engineering. Grala won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

"This was clearly a big day for me," Grala said. "Not only for my school life, but for my racing life, too. I kind of lead two lives. This was a big day all around."

Sauter, who leads the point standings by 52 over Christopher Bell, was one of only eight drivers to complete all 200 laps.

Chase Briscoe won the pole, finished 199 and was 12th, and even drove a bit on three tires. Briscoe's truck lost the front driver's side tire, sending the tire rolling down the track as the truck started sparking.

The crew chief could face a four-race suspension for losing a tire.

Sauter won for the first time at Dover.

"I felt like in years past I had opportunities and I had trucks good enough to win here," Sauter said. "This place here, as much as you can give, your race truck, it will take. This is just one of those places. I can't explain to you how qualifying laps here are two of the most exhilarating laps you'll run all season."

Grant Enfinger was third. Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric finished the top five.

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Updated June 2, 2017

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