FLAT TIRE ON LAP THREE LEADS TO UPHILL BATTLE FOR TRACK POSITION Tim Sauter Works Hard For 26th July 15th, New Hampshire Intl. Speedway. Following practice on Friday afternoon Tim Sauter felt he a chance for a strong finish for his ...
FLAT TIRE ON LAP THREE LEADS TO UPHILL BATTLE FOR TRACK POSITION
Tim Sauter Works Hard For 26th
July 15th, New Hampshire Intl. Speedway. Following practice on Friday afternoon Tim Sauter felt he a chance for a strong finish for his Lester Buildings Chevy on Saturday afternoon in the New England 200, but early contact forced Sauter to the back of the 43-car field and made for a long day as Sauter fought the traffic and heat bringing home a 26th place finish at the end of the event which was won by Carl Edwards.
Tim qualified 22nd on the starting grid with a lap of 30.18 seconds. However contact with Tracy Hines on lap three cut down Sauter's left rear tire and forced the Lester Buildings Chevy to his pit for repairs. From that point Tim would work hard to gain back positions on the difficult to pass flat one-mile track.
When the race restarted on lap 6, Sauter found himself in 40th place. Methodically working his way forward in the field Tim was up to 37th on lap ten and 33rd by the twentieth circuit. At the one-quarter point of the race on lap fifty Clint Bowyer had lapped all but the top 19 cars and Tim was up to 31st position.
There were only 17 cars on the lead lap on lap 56 when the caution flew for debris. The McGill crew did a great job getting Tim out of the pits in 29th place and once the green flag flew he continued to move forward in the running order, moving up to 25th when the caution flew again on lap 79.
Under the third caution, Sauter was forced to come to the attention of the crew to check for a possible fluid leak, which dropped the #36 back to the 31st spot. The Lester Buildings car ran well during the middle stages of the event with Sauter moving through traffic up to the 24th position when the fourth caution flag flew on lap 146.
Tim spent the last fifty laps of the race running hard with Stacey Compton and Kenny Wallace racing for 25th position. Tim passed the #59 on lap 166 but Compton was able to get back around Sauter on lap 184. Sauter held off a hard charge by Wallace over the last five laps to hold onto the 26th finishing position.
"I had real high hopes for qualifying today, we had run a 30.09 in practice on Friday, and I thought we could back that time up, but the car was a tick too free and I couldn't quite duplicate that run," Sauter explained. "Still, we would have been alright starting 22nd today without that early flat. A 26th place finish does reflect how good the car ran today. We easily had a top-20 maybe even a top-15 car today."
"Track position was key to the whole race," Tim said afterwards. "We were good at the start of each run, but as we went on it seemed to wear the front tires out and I was loosing front grip. It's the closest we've been, but we need to keep working on our shock package, I think we can improve the car on the long runs which will help us pick-up some positions."
The next race for Tim Sauter and the McGill Motorsports team is Saturday, July 22nd at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA. The Goody's 250 will be broadcast live on NBC at 3:30ET.