On Wednesday, GMS Racing announced that Johnny Sauter would not be racing in the No. 21 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for the 2019 season.
Sauter has driven for GMS in the No. 21 truck for the past three seasons amassing 13 wins, a championship, while never finishing outside the top four in points.
“We cannot thank Johnny enough for his contributions to the growth and success of GMS Racing. He won the first championship for us and added a lot of trophies to our shop,” said president of GMS Mike Beam after the announcement. “We wish him all the best for his future endeavors, both in and out of racing.”
This announcement comes at a somewhat awkward time so late in the off-season. With only 36 days until the first race at Daytona, this leaves Sauter scrambling to put something together if he plans to race and compete for a title in 2019. Sauter seemed to be less than thrilled with the announcement and his disappointment showed during an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR. “It’s kind of late in the game, obviously. Daytona’s only a month away, so you don’t want it to go down like that but there ain’t a whole hell of a lot I can do about it. It’s just life. What’s next for me? Don’t have a clue. You see a lot of drivers get sidelined — good drivers — and that’s the nature of the beast.”
In addition to expressing his frustrations on SiriusXM NACAR Radio, Sauter indicated that Brett Moffitt was going to be hired on to drive the No. 21 machine in 2019.
With this news, 2018 series champ, Brett Moffitt has finally found a ride for the upcoming season. Moffitt’s former team the No. 16 of Hattori Racing Enterprises was forced to part ways with their championship driver due to lack of funding. “We are extremely proud of what we achieved with Brett and winning the championship together,” team owner Shige Hattori said in a statement. “Our organization’s relationship with him dates back to 2012 and we’re thankful for what he has meant to our team and the effort he put forth. This past season was full of adversity and we faced numerous challenges in getting to the racetrack each week.”