Johnny Sauter No. 13 FarmPaint.com-The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino/Curb Records Chevrolet Express Notes: Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sandusky, Oh. (September 21, 2010) -- Johnny Sauter returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the ...
Johnny Sauter No. 13 FarmPaint.com-The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino/Curb Records Chevrolet Express Notes: Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sandusky, Oh. (September 21, 2010) -- Johnny Sauter returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the defending winner of the Smith's 350, his first career victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Sauter has won dozens of races at the upper levels of racing, including 10 races en route to the 2001 ASA championship and three races in the Nationwide Series, but the win at Las Vegas was extra special for a variety of reasons.
Did you ever give up on the thought of not just being a NASCAR driver, but a NASCAR winner before joining ThorSport Racing last season? "I never gave up on myself being a winner because I have always known I can do it, but I think I saw the opportunities to do it drying up. I came off a season in the Cup Series in 2008 and at the end of it I didn't have anything, and you're sitting there asking yourself "what just happened?" So when the opportunity came to join ThorSport Racing in 2009 I jumped at it. I knew it was a really good team and knew we would have a good chance to win races and Las Vegas last year was the first of what we all hope is many."
You've had a lot of wins in a lot of different racing series; how much did winning last year at LVMS mean to you? "It doesn't matter what the series is, whether it's the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck Series or late models somewhere, every race is really hard to win. Every win that I have had means a lot to me, for different reasons. The win at Las Vegas last year was important because I did have all of that uncertainty in my career and it validated what I always thought, that I could be a winner if we just had the opportunity and equipment."
Is there a better place to win a race than Las Vegas? If you make it back-to-back wins this year, what can you do to top last year's celebration? "I don't know that I'd want to top it! We definitely celebrated big time last year. I think the thing we learned is that at some point you don't have to party for 24 hours straight, otherwise you probably won't remember what you're celebrating! In all honesty though, there really isn't a better place to win than Las Vegas. Everyone is out there for an extra day and there are so many things to do out there so any celebrating you get to do is going to be big."
What changes have you and the team made to the truck in the year since you drove it to victory lane at LVMS? "Knock on wood, we really haven't had to make too many changes to it in the two years I've been driving it. We might have had to put a nose on it or a fender on it after scraping it up somewhere, but we haven't had to clip it or do any real significant repairs to it. We've run that particular truck probably 20 times in the past two seasons and it's just a really comfortable, competitive truck. Race drivers are always talking about wanting the newest piece they can get but this truck was built in 2007. Sure, we'd like to have as many new trucks as we can get but we'd also like them all to be as good as this one is."
-source: thorsport racing