Heartbreak for Tim Sauter at Gateway September 1, 2007 -- Madison, IL. Tim Sauter finished tenth the first time he competed at Gateway International Raceway in a Busch Series car back in 2002. Knowing his Green Light Racing team was bringing ...
Heartbreak for Tim Sauter at Gateway
September 1, 2007 -- Madison, IL. Tim Sauter finished tenth the first time he competed at Gateway International Raceway in a Busch Series car back in 2002. Knowing his Green Light Racing team was bringing his favorite racetruck this weekend, Sauter felt he had a good shot of repeating that top-10 in his first visit to the track in the NACAR Craftsman Truck Series. All he needed was some racing luck.
The Green Light team did a great job throughout Fridays practice session and Sauter was confident prior to Saturday afternoons qualifying session that they had a competitive racetruck. "The guys are working so hard back at the shop getting our Lester Buildings Chevy's ready and they really worked well together in practice," Sauter commented prior to qualifying. "I think we're going to have a pretty good truck."
Proving they were ready for the race, Sauter qualified the Lester Buildings Silverado a season's best ninth with a lap of 34.10 seconds, "I got just a tick loose in 1 & 2 but it was a pretty good lap."
At the drop of the green, Tim made an aggressive run down the low side of the track and challenged for the sixth position before settling into seventh as the trucks crossed the stripe at the end of the first lap.
When the races first caution flew on lap 14 the #07 was in eighth position. During the first caution Sauter reported to the Green Light crew, "We're a tick snug, but it's pretty good." Jack Sprague slipped under Sauter on the restart on lap 19 and Tim settled into ninth place where he would run until lap 40 when he caught and passed Brendan Gaughan.
Sauter's truck grew stronger as the green flag run progressed and Tim was beginning to catch on the fourth to seventh place trucks running faster lap times on lap 50 than he had early in the race. He came on the radio on lap 53, "I've got a big miss in the motor." he told crew chief Doug Howe.
A few seconds later Sauter said three words, "It's blown up."
"We were pretty sporty," a dejected Sauter said following the race. "That was the best ride I've ever had here at Gateway. We were a solid top-ten truck and I think with some minor adjustments we could have had a truck capable of running into the top-five. This place is really hard on equipment, but I was more worried about the brakes. I hate it for these guys, it's a good bunch and it hurts to see the dejection in their faces. They are working so hard and we just can't get a finish."
Despite the second straight disappointing finish, Sauter maintained 16th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings. Tim leads Willie Allen in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings 130 to 127.
The Green Light Racing team will return to action on Saturday Sept 15, 2007 at the New Hampshire International Raceway. "We're going to clean this truck up and take it to New Hampshire just the way it is," Sauter added.