MOORESVILLE, NC (January 6, 2003) -- After a very successful 2002 NASCAR Busch Series season driving for AP Performance Racing, Wisconsin's Tim Sauter is now a racing "free agent." The middle of three racing Sauter brothers, Tim, is now searching for a new avenue in 2003 due to the fact that financial constraints have shut down the AP Performance Team after one year of NASCAR competition.
"It is really unfortunate that the cards had to fall the way they did, but that is the state of motorsports today," said Sauter. "I just have to start looking for what is best for me in 2003. I wanted to keep the AP team running for the 2003 season because one year is just not enough time to develop a brand new team and I saw some big things on the horizon for us, but we just couldn't find a sponsor to keep it going. Right now, I just want to do what is best for me. We were successful racing against some of the best, well-funded teams in the Busch Series and I'll do whatever I can to get into a competitive situation in NASCAR."
Sauter is the 1999 ASA National Champion, a feat he accomplished with AP Performance racing. Sauter, who has been with the Canadian-owned AP team for five years, started the Busch Series team from the ground up just prior to the 2002 season. In just a few months time, Tim turned an old race shop into high-tech headquarters to house their operation. With a brand new team, brand new personnel and all new equipment, Tim was qualifying inside the top 15 and finishing there as well.
Tim and the team catapulted their way toward the top of the Busch Series standings by the end of the season. A career-best, third-place qualifying effort at the Milwaukee Mile (WI) in June was soon matched with several top-10 finishes, including a career-best, sixth-place finish at Memphis (TN).
Tim's outstanding year was recognized by many, including veteran Winston Cup campaigner Dave Marcis. So, with the backing of the fellow Wisconsinite, Tim made his NASCAR Winston Cup driving debut in September at Richmond International Raceway.
"I would like to stay in the NASCAR Busch Series, because I have worked so hard to get to this point and I know I have all the skills it takes to succeed. I understand these cars and I have been to all of the tracks now, so I have the knowledge and experience. But if nothing falls in line for the NASCAR Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series, then I would strongly consider running ASA."