Johnny Saute went on SiriusXM NASCAR Wednesday afternoon and announced that he has been let go by GMS Racing ahead of the 2019 season. A mere 37 days before the Truck Series takes the green flag at Daytona, Sauter is left bitter and without a ride.
Here is what Sauter said, he also had no probably announcing his replacement before GMS had a chance to announce it. A petty move but we are very much here for it.
BREAKING: @JohnnySauter reacts to today's news and tells @DGodfatherMoody that @Brett_Moffitt will replace him at @GMSRacingLLC for the 2019 @NASCAR_Trucks season. #NASCAR #NGOTS pic.twitter.com/HOTlJC0MZ2
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) January 9, 2019
Sauter exits GMS after three seasons in the #21 truck where he scored 13 wins and the 2016 NASCAR Truck Series championship. Last season Sauter was locked into an intense battle with the #16 truck of Brett Moffitt only to be bested by Moffitt at Homestead. Sauter would finish 12th at Homestead and ultimately 4th in the championship.
According to Sauter, this was strictly a “financial decision” at least that’s what he was told by GMS President Mike Beam. Sauter’s truck was sponsored by Allegiant Airlines last year, team owner Maury Gallagher’s company and ISM Connect. Unless Gallagher doesn’t want to sponsor the team anymore the financial decision excuse seems fishy.
Evidently, Sauter thought it was fishy too because he announced his replacement before GMS could. Defending series champion Brett Moffitt appears to be taking over the #21 truck in 2019. For GMS it makes sense to go with the younger, more marketable driver, especially if you’re footing the bill. Sauter is a great truck series driver but not a great guy to market. Essentially it’s a lateral move talent-wise for GMS.
For Moffitt, it’s the lifeline he needed to keep his career going. After winning the championship the #16 team announced he would not be back in 2019. Thus leaving the series champion without a ride, not the best look for NASCAR and the series.
Sauter is now left searching for a ride 37 days before Daytona. GMS Racing should have made this decision sooner to allow him time to find a ride. Sauter will likely be in Daytona but it remains to be seen what caliber of truck he’ll be in.
Follow us on Twitter @ApexOff