|Johnny Sauter is fifth in NCTS points|
Shear resigned his position Friday, just five days before the series’ first-ever dirt track race at Eldora Speedway. He and driver Johnny Sauter ranked fifth in the Truck Series championship standings, just 52 points behind ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton. Sauter was docked 25 points for the fuel cell violation at Kansas, knocking him from the series lead.
“Joe has been my crew chief for a long time and my friend for even longer,” said Sauter today. “I guess there were some disagreements over the direction of the team, and he felt like it was time for him to move on.”
Sauter declined to comment on specifics of the split, but sources close to the team say difficulty hiring qualified personnel to work at ThorSport’s Sandusky, Ohio shop, debates over the correct technological path for the team and an inability to address issues with their over-the-wall pit crew all played a role in Shear’s departure.
Truck chiefs Jesse Saunders and Dan LeMasters, who replaced Shear during his suspension, are expected to oversee the team this week at Eldora, with no word yet on a permanent replacement. Calls placed to ThorSport Racing for comment today were not immediately returned.