Tim Sauter 11th at Homestead
Positive Ending to 2007 Season and Lester Buildings Final NASCAR Race
November 16th, Homestead Miami Speedway. Through the first 24 races of the 2007 NCTS season Tim Sauter and the Green Light Racing team seemed to catch a lot of bad breaks; untimely cautions, mechanical failures and just plan bad racing luck plagued the Lester Buildings #07. Friday night, a little good luck finally came their way as the cautions fell at the right times and pit strategy keep Sauter near or in the top-ten all night, finishing eleventh to Johnny Benson in the season ending Ford 200.
The Green Light team struggled to find speed in the practice sessions and qualified in the 32nd position. Soon after the start, Sauter picked up several positions in the early laps when a key call by Crew Chief Doug Howe brought Sauter to the pits during the first caution on lap fifteen, taking fuel only Sauter restarted 24th. The top fourteen trucks stayed on the track and during the long green flag run that ensued, those trucks were forced to pit lane for gas, while Sauter and other's that had pit on the first caution stayed on the track. During the green flag cycle, Tim moved well into the top-ten reaching a high of sixth on lap 71. Sauter's big break came when the caution flew on lap 74, leaving only fourteen trucks on the lead lap.
Tim restarted 9th following the caution and the Lester Buildings Chevy was competitive enough to stay on the lead lap until just a few laps were left in the 134-lap event. Tim took the checkers in 11th place, just missing his second top-ten in the last three races.
"We really didn't have the speed to race up front, but we were fast enough to keep pace and stay on the lead lap. We ran a smart race and for a change the cautions fell at the right times," said Sauter. "I would have loved to have finished in the top-ten, but we'll take eleventh, I think that was a positive end to the season."
Sauter was very complementary when looking back on the 2007 NCTS season, "I want to thank Bobby and Gene, Doug and the guys in the shop for everything throughout the year. I have to say that I really enjoyed this year, the trucks are a lot of fun to drive and atmosphere in the garage is great. I appreciate the support from Lester Buildings over the last five years. There are a lot of questions for next year, both for Green Light Racing and myself, I'm just trying to sort it all out."
Sauter finished the 2007 season 16th in the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series point standings and second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
Green Light Racing co-owner Gene Christensen reflected on the 2007 NCTS season, "It has been a great season with Tim and his family, I wish we could run another year. I have enjoyed Lester as a sponsor. They will all be missed but we will always have our friendships. This year has been the best for me having a team and truck that is competitive week after week, take away some of the bad luck and we would be in the top-ten in points."
Friday night's race brought to an end a four-year run in with Lester Buildings sponsoring Tim Sauter in NASCAR events. Lester Buildings Vice President Larry Lembrich looked back, "Five years ago, Tim Sauter invited us to a local short track race in his home state of Wisconsin to light the fire. Since that time, we have had nothing but the greatest of times during our love/hate relationship with this sport. It has been a pleasure to work with great owners, hard-working teams, and the NASCAR associates, in ASA and the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series'. Most importantly, we continue to be impressed with the fans! The relationship between NASCAR and its fans is a unique experience, and a memory that will last forever. I would strongly recommend branding through NASCAR to all business owners. I would like to extend personal thanks to Tim Sauter, a crafty driver, ethical businessman, and most of all, a great individual. Best of luck with your racing future!"
During their involvement in NASCAR sponsorships the company has given away three Town and Country buildings valued at nearly $100,000 in special racing fan sweepstakes. "I just want to say again how much of a pleasure it was to be aligned with Tim for the past few years," added Tom Borgman, Lester Buildings Marketing Manager. "Tim is a great person, a great driver and we will be rooting for him in 2008 and beyond!"