Sauter, AP Performance Chevy Ready To Make Waves At Miami
HOMESTEAD, FL (November 5, 2001) - The dry run is over, now it's time to make some waves.
Tim Sauter debuted his No. 9 AP Performance Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo last week at North Carolina Motor Speedway rolling to a 26th-place finish in the Sam's Club 200. The effort has given rise to optimism as the team will now head to Miami-Homestead Speedway and the Miami 300 this weekend.
"I know 26th-place doesn't seem like much, but everyone was really encouraged with our performance at Rockingham," said Sauter. "You have to remember, this team basically didn't exist four weeks ago, so to go to Rockingham and be as competitive as we were, especially late in the race, was great. Everyone is pretty pumped to head to Homestead."
Sauter's AP Performance Racing Team is fresh off a 2001 American Speed Association campaign that saw Johnny Sauter, Tim's younger brother, torch the competition winning 10 of 20 events and the series championship. As soon as the ASA season took the checkered flag, the team moved its operation to Mooresville, NC where it retooled for the final two NBS events of this season. The team, with Tim Sauter behind the wheel, will be a full-time Busch Series entry in 2002.
"It was a pretty big thrash to get things ready," said AP Performance Racing crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. "We were fortunate to be able to buy some Chevrolet Monte Carlos that Matt Kenseth drove at Reiser Enterprises. They have quality pieces and were also gracious enough to share some of their notes with us. If we wouldn't have had that, there's no way we'd be getting ready to race at Homestead this weekend."
The Rockingham event showed that even under the best conditions, a new team is likely to initially struggle in the ultra-competitive NASCAR Busch Series ranks. For Sauter and his shiny new red, white and blue US 131 Motorsports Park entry, that was no exception.
"It took us a little while to get a handle on things," said Sauter. "We struggled getting the car to drive through the corner all weekend and we really didn't hit on anything until the halfway point of the race. After that, we were about a tenth of a second off what the leader was running. If we hadn't gotten down a lap early in the race, I'm sure we could have easily finished in the Top-15."
Sauter did just that a year ago at Miami rolling to an 11th-place qualifying effort and a 15th-place finish in the race. This time around, he'll be looking to improve on both those marks.
"Miami is a big, flat one-mile track a lot like the one we have back home in Milwaukee," said the Necedah, WI native. "It's all about pace and rhythm at places like Miami, Milwaukee and New Hampshire. You have to charge the car into the corner, but not too hard that you push up in the center of the turn. Having experience at Miami last year should help me figure out what we need quickly this time so we can get dialed in and qualify well. Once the race starts, we've got just as good a chance as anyone else."
The Miami event will also mark the official debut of the AP Performance Racing team. The team will hold a press conference in the Infield Media Interview Room at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time Friday, November 9, to discuss its plans for the 2002 season.
"We're really looking forward to the Miami event," said Sauter. "We've got a great program in place for next season and we want everyone to know that we're going to be one of the teams that they are going to have to beat week in and week out. Hopefully, we'll be able to give them a taste of that at Miami this weekend."
The Miami 300 will take the green flag Saturday, November 10, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event will be televised live by NBC and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio.
ABOUT AP PERFORMANCE RACING:
AP Performance Racing debuted in 1992 as an American Speed Association entry with team owner Alec Pinsonneault as the driver. The Windsor, Ontario based team notched 16 ASA victories and a pair of division titles with Tim Sauter (1999) and Johnny Sauter (2001) delivering the championship trophies. Now housed in a state of the art facility in Mooresville, NC, AP Performance Racing will field a full-time NASCAR Busch Series effort in 2002 with Tim Sauter again handling the driving chores. AP Performance Racing is a division of AP Development. Also in the family of AP companies are Build A Mold, A.P. Tool and Gauge, Moldplas, Inc, Trimplas, LTD, Trimplas 2 and Trimplas 2000. For more media information, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities concerning AP Performance Racing, please contact John Close at Motorsports Management Group at 704-236-9986 or by e-mail at email@example.com.