Tim Sauter Overcomes Engine Jinx May 18th, Charlotte, NC. Following last weeks test at the Lowes Motor Speedway the Green Light Racing team was poised for a strong run in one of the years most prestigious races. Running the Quaker Steak and ...
Tim Sauter Overcomes Engine Jinx
May 18th, Charlotte, NC. Following last weeks test at the Lowes Motor Speedway the Green Light Racing team was poised for a strong run in one of the years most prestigious races. Running the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 right in the heart of NASCAR country in front of many team member families and friends is an annual highlight for the teams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
The upbeat tempo of the team quickly changed as the engine in Sauter's Silverado went sour on just the first lap of the morning practice session. Doug Howe and the crew quickly went to work to replace the engine for the second practice session. Following the exchange, Tim took his #07 out for the second practice and before he could complete the first lap, the back-up motor expired in a plume of blue smoke as well. The team worked out details for another engine for Sauter's truck, but Tim would be forced to qualify for the event without any practice.
Tim used his past experience at the track and solidly placed the Lester Buildings/ASI Limited Silverado into the field with a lap of 30.69 seconds around the mile and one half speedway giving him the 18th starting spot. "I knew from last weeks practice session that we had a pretty good truck but having to qualify without any practice isn't how I had planned the weekend to start," Sauter said following the qualifying run. "The truck stuck pretty good, but we'll have to go to the back for the race."
Starting at the rear of the 36-truck field as required by NASCAR rules Tim was mired in traffic when the first caution flew on lap 8 so he brought the #07 to the pits for a chassis adjustment and restarted in 32nd position. The Lester-Buildings/ASI Limited Chevy had moved up to the 25th place when second caution flag came on lap 38 and good pit-work by the Green Light crew got Tim back onto the track in 23rd place.
Tim held his position on the lead lap throughout the long green that followed and stayed on the track when the leaders came to pit road under the next caution on lap 88 to gain five bonus points. The Lester Buildings/ASI Limited Chevy began to show some strength and Sauter moved his way up into the top-15 with 20 laps to go in the 134-lap race. Three cautions re-bunched the field in the closing laps and Tim brought home his best finish of the young season in 17th place right in front of teammate Chad McCumbee in the GPS Store/Garmin Chevy.
"We were better on the longer runs. If we would have gone green the last 20 laps we could have finished higher," Sauter said after the finish. "Things were pretty bunched-up there I thought a couple times they were going to wreck right in front of me. I wanted to get in there and race, but we needed to finish."
Lester Buildings Vice President Larry Lembrich was pleased. "I wasn't sure what was going to happen after the second engine blew, but to be here at the end is a big relief. I want to thank Ken Smith of SS Racing, ASI Limited and their partners for joining us this week," he added. "Our dirt-track driver Chub Frank won tonight in the World of Outlaws Late Models, that's a pretty good night for Lester Buildings."
Despite the hurdles they faced, the Green Light team moved back into the top-30 in NCTS owner's points guaranteeing a starting spot in next weeks race. "The truck is clean and the motor lasted all night, I'll take 17th after the day we've had," Tim explained. "The guys did a fantastic job under a tremendous amount of stress today, we're going in the right direction. I'm really looking forward to Mansfield."
Race fans are encouraged to enter the Lester Buildings "Race Fan Building Sweepstakes" for a chance to win a Lester "Town & Country" building with an MSRP of approximately $30,000 by mailing the coupon from Tim's autograph card or by completing an online form found at JAYSKI.com, including the site's expanded Craftsman Truck news pages.
The Lester Buildings - Green Light Racing team will race again at the Mansfield Motorsports Park in the Ohio 250 on May 26th. The race will be televised live on FOX TV at 1:00 pm Eastern.