The HRE team and driver Johnny Sauter made the most of the one and only practice for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Similar to Michigan with Ross Chastain their Toyota Camry was fast, Sauter was 15th overall in practice on Thursday.
During the opening round of knock out qualifying on Friday a quick rain shower which ensued a nine car pile-up with just seven minutes left on the clock in the 25 minute session. NASCAR officials scraped the remaining time as well as the two rounds that would follow. This left Sauter with a 20th starting position.
Rain once again was a factor for race day on Friday, there was a 1-hour and 21 minute rain delay which caused the start of the race to be pushed back from its original starting time of 7:50 p.m., ET to a green flag drop of 9:11 p.m., ET to allow the track to dry.
Sauter was quick to make gains as soon as the green flag dropped and by lap ten, Sauter had gone from his 20th starting spot all the way to 10th. The first caution of the night came out on lap 53 for debris in turn two. The team pitted for fuel and tires. After pitting, Sauter battled thru the field by lap 80 he was back in the top ten in the 7th position. The second caution of the night came on lap 94 for an accident in on the front stretch involving three cars; Sauter was sitting in the 9th position at the time of the second caution. The team took a fuel only pit stop late in the race which put Sauter back in the pack for the restart of the race. A third and final caution of the race occurred when there was a wreck on the front stretch by the start finish line, involving four cars on lap 99 this caution caused the race to be extended to a green white checkered finish.
Sauter finished the race in the 15th position, after the race he said “I was really happy with the No. 80 JMS/ TACTI Toyota Camry all weekend and excited for the opportunity to be able to race for a great race team. The guys at HRE put together a great car that handled well and I was able to make my way thru the field and into the top-10 and finishing in 15th.”