Tim Sauter 18th at ORP Great finish slips away as field is bottled-up during late race caution July 27 -- Indianapolis, IN. Tim Sauter had a great handling racetruck for Friday nights Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway...
Tim Sauter 18th at ORP
Great finish slips away as field is bottled-up during late race caution
July 27 -- Indianapolis, IN. Tim Sauter had a great handling racetruck for Friday nights Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Unfortunately a late race caution scrambled the field and spoiled a sure top-15 finish for his Lester Buildings/ASILIMITED Silverado. When the checkered flag finally flew after a long damp day, Sauter crossed the line 18th in the 200 lap NCTS event which was won by Ron Hornaday, Jr.
Lingering rain showers and drizzle throughout the day and early evening cut short the races final practice session, forced NASCAR officials to cancel qualifying and delayed the start of the event by over two hours. By NCTS rules the field was lined up by owners point standings, which placed Sauter 24th on the starting grid.
From the drop of the green flag, Tim found his that his Lester Buildings/ASILIMITED Silverado was fast in the low-grove of the racetrack and he steadily marched towards the front of the 36-truck field. By the 20th lap he had moved into 19th position and was up to 17th on lap 31 when the #71 of Pierre Bourque lost control and spun into the outside wall. The spin occurred directly in front of Tim's Green Light Racing teammate Chad McCumbee who plowed into the spinning truck putting an early end to Chad's night.
On the ensuing green flag restart, Sauter made a bonsai move to the inside passing four trucks and moving into 11th place. On the 69th circuit of the race Tim maneuvered the #07 into the top ten and it looked like nothing would slow his drive to the front.
Under the races third caution on lap 75 most of the lead-lap trucks including Sauter came to pit road for tires and fuel under. Soon after returning to green flag racing Tim knew the second set of tires did not handle quite as well as the first. Regardless, he was still able to move toward the top-ten battling with Brendan Gaughan, Mike Bliss and Ted Musgrave for nearly 30 laps before settling into 13th place where he ran until a caution on lap 185. While the top fifteen trucks stayed on the track the rest of the lead-lap trucks behind them came into the pits for fresh tires preparing for a sprint to the finish. Shortly after the green fell on lap 189, several trucks made contact in front of Sauter with Willie Allen slamming the backstretch wall. Tim slowed to avoid the melee and several of the trucks with fresh tires passed him before a delayed caution flag finally flew.
Crew chief Doug Howe tried to reverse the strategy by calling the #07 in for fresh tires during the final caution and Sauter was able to pick-up two positions in the green-white-checker finish, crossing the line in 18th place. Despite loosing several positions in the late race scramble, Sauter was pleased with the performance of his racetruck, "We had a good truck the first half of the race. We were really good. I think from lap 30 to lap 50 we were the fastest truck on the track. We came from 24th to about 8th, which was pretty good. That second set of tires just didn't feel as good, but we thought we could hold our own."
That second to last caution really hurt us. We lost a lot of spots there," Sauter added. "But all in all, it's in one piece and we've still got a good racetruck to carry on. I think we put on a good show for our fans from Lester Buildings and ASILIMITED. We'll just keep building on it."
Sauter earned his second Raybestos Rookie of the Race award of the season and remains 18th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver point standings. The Lester Buildings - Green Light Racing team will race again on August 11th at the Nashville Superspeedway.