Making the most of Michigan. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 13, 2002) - The NASCAR Busch Series visits Michigan International Speedway (MIS) one time this season. Primary Sponsor ACDelco, a division of General Motors, is headquartered one hour...
Making the most of Michigan.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 13, 2002) - The NASCAR Busch Series visits Michigan International Speedway (MIS) one time this season. Primary Sponsor ACDelco, a division of General Motors, is headquartered one hour north of the two-mile oval in Grand Blanc. It seems only logical that Johnny Sauter, pilot of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, wants to make the most of his first trip to the high-banks of MIS, so he is going prepared.
"It's obvious we want to be successful in Michigan with ACDelco headquartered there," says the rookie driver. "More important, though, it's a place I haven't been to before so we thought it would be a good idea to go and test. I'm still getting used to these bigger racetracks, and it's nice to get some extra time to adjust to the surface and figure out how to get around."
Sauter and Team ACDelco spent Monday and Tuesday of last week testing in Brooklyn, where the track is located. Sauter was happy with what he and the team were able to accomplish, but he admits that they've still got some work left.
"It's not the easiest track to get adjusted to," adds the 24-year Sauter. "It's so wide that there are a lot of different lines you can take to get around it. It was nice to get some laps in and try some different packages. It also helped to have my dad there because he's been really successful at Michigan. He knows the best line to get around that place fast, and tried to show me that."
In order to make the most of their visit to The Great Lakes State, every member of the blue crew will have to be at the top of their game throughout the 125-lap event on Saturday. If they can do that, they might find themselves in Victory Lane at a place where it would seem most fitting...the home of their primary sponsor.
* Johnny Sauter has been on a tear through the Busch Series driver points standings since the second half of the season got underway. His fourth place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park pushed him to 13th, six spots up from where he sat before the night race in Daytona Beach, Fla.
* Team ACDelco is taking chassis No. 010 to run this weekend at MIS, the same car they tested with last week. This car, run last at Pikes Peak International Raceway, is the same one that got the team their first win at Chicagoland Speedway in the Tropicana Twister 300.
* Start time for Saturday's Cabela's 250 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 250-mile event on TNT starts at 1:30 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN beginning at 12:30 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on Michigan International Speedway
How was your test?
"Things went well, but it was a little frustrating. We weren't as fast as I wanted to be right off the truck, but I feel like I definitely learned a little bit about what the fastest way is around the place. I'm looking forward to getting back, running well for ACDelco, and winning the thing."
What did you think of the racetrack?
"I liked it. It's similar to a lot of big tracks that we go to, with the dogleg across the frontstretch. It reminded me a lot of California (Speedway) because it's so big and has a lot of room on the track itself. I'm not sure what's going to happen until about lap 50 when I've had a chance to be out on the track with other cars. It's a lot different when there are cars around you."
How much did your dad help?
"My dad's been extremely successful at Michigan. Whether it was in IROC, ASA, or Cup, he's had some good runs and he's learned what it takes to get around that place. It was a big deal to me to have him there helping. I basically went to school and took it all in so I can be ready when we go back this week."
ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on Michigan International Speedway
How was the test session at Michigan?
"The test was productive, although we still have a long way to go. Most of our time was spent getting Johnny used to the racetrack on long runs, so when we head back we can concentrate on qualifying. It definitely helped to have Johnny's dad there. Since the track is so wide, he was able to show him the best way to enter and exit the corners."