Untimely Caution Slows Tim Sauter Wisconsin driver runs strong at home track, but late-race caution spoils top-ten finish June 22nd -- West Allis, WI. If it weren't for bad luck, some people would never have any luck. Tim Sauter just can't catch...
Untimely Caution Slows Tim Sauter
Wisconsin driver runs strong at home track, but late-race caution spoils top-ten finish
June 22nd -- West Allis, WI. If it weren't for bad luck, some people would never have any luck. Tim Sauter just can't catch a lucky break. Friday night at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 an untimely caution flag trapped the Lester Buildings #07 two laps behind the leaders, spoiling the team's best run of the season and robbing Sauter of a chance at his first ever top-10 in the series.
A stellar qualifying performance placed the Lester Buildings #07 in the tenth starting position and from the drop of the green flag Tim was out to prove to the hometown crowd of more than 25,000 that he came to race. From the start of the race Tim attacked the flat one mile track, moving up to the 8th position by the end of the second lap when Willie Allen and Ron Hornaday tangled bringing out the races first caution. He continued the strong showing by staying in the top-10 throughout the races first 65 laps running lap times equal to the leaders as the laps clicked-off.
Debris on the track caused the races second caution at a perfect time for all the leaders on lap 66. Sauter brought the Lester Buildings Chevy to the attention of the Green Light crew for four tires and fuel, the only adjustment one pound out of the right front tire. Tim restarted in 13th and quickly gained several spots moving up to 11th on lap 76 when Ted Musgrave and Kelly Bires mixed-it up in turn two causing another yellow.
Through the middle portion of the race, Sauter never missed a beat running consistent lap times and holding the 11th position until Mike Bliss caught him in lapped traffic on lap 131, dropping the #07 to 12th. On lap 140, Bliss and Sauter both caught Kraig Kinser and Tim was back to 11th. Now, the team had to decide at what point to come to pit road to give Tim his final set of tires and fuel for the run to the checkers.
Kinser was the first of the leap-lap trucks to pit on lap 150, Ken Schrader and Tim gave up their positions for tires and gas on 154 emerging two laps down. All of the leaders would need to pit in the next three to five laps. Suddenly on lap 157 Willie Allen's engine expired coming down the front straight causing the races fourth caution, stranding the three trucks that had already chose to pit two laps down to the leaders. Sauter's bid for his first top-ten in the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series came to an abrupt halt.
Tim restarted as the third truck two laps down in 18th place when the green flew on lap 164. Running lap times as quick as trucks in the top-5 Tim quickly moved his way up to 16th, the first truck two laps in arrears and held off a charge from Kinser as the checkered flag waived for Johnny Benson who won his second straight race at the famous Milwaukee Mile speedway.
"I just can't believe the luck that Tim has had. This is best racetruck he's had all year," Said Lester Buildings Vice President Larry Lembrich. "What a disappointment, I feel really bad for the team, they worked so hard to give Tim a good truck and just like that, your two laps down. It's not anyone's fault, it's part of racing. I think we had a great shot at a top-10 tonight."
"We raced hard with the 4 and the 88 tonight and they ended up 7th and 9th, so if we didn't get caught on the green flag stop I think we could have been right with them. It's certainly a race we can build on. 16th place is no indication of how good we were tonight," Sauter said following the race. "We're going to take this same Silverado to Memphis next week I'm ready to prove this run was no fluke."
Sauter moved into 18th in NCTS point standings. "It's taken a while for me to get a feeling of how to drive these trucks after driving a Busch car for the last few years, you have to be more aggressive into the corners," Sauter explained. "The team is getting better, our stops have been pretty good the last few races. Overall, I think our whole program has come a long way."