May 12th, Darlington Raceway. The track "Too Tough to Tame" proved itself to NASCAR Busch Series drivers on Friday night with nine cautions flying though the 200-mile event. For McGill Motorsports driver Tim Sauter, the night is one he'd like to...
May 12th, Darlington Raceway. The track "Too Tough to Tame" proved itself to NASCAR Busch Series drivers on Friday night with nine cautions flying though the 200-mile event. For McGill Motorsports driver Tim Sauter, the night is one he'd like to soon put behind him, a tight racecar and a late accident involving four other cars that left the Lester Buildings Chevy with a disappointing 37th place finish behind Denny Hamlin who won his second NBS race of the year.
"We just aren't running as good as we should be," Sauter sighed. "Lately, we're better than a few cars, but not as good as some we should be running with. I think there is something with this tire this year that we haven't quite figured out. It took a good ten laps for our car to get up to speed, after fifteen laps I could run with those guys, but you don't get many long green flag runs here at Darlington," Sauter explained. "Ricky and I need to figure it out, because this team is better than we are showing right now and we should be running better than we are. We've had some bad luck this year, but regardless, we need to run better for Lester Buildings and John & Nancy McGill."
Starting the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 from the 42nd starting spot, Sauter was in the 37th position when the caution came out for Ashton Lewis hitting the wall on lap Twenty-one. While every other lead lap car pitted during the caution, Crew Chief Ricky Pearson called for Tim to stay on the track to lead a lap and grab five valuable points. By leading a lap the Wisconsin driver was awarded the WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race Award.
The middle portions of the race were uneventful for Sauter as the #36 ran in between 30th and 37th position in another race dominated by a large contingent of "Bushwhackers." The only close call came on lap 75 when Steve Park and Mike Bliss got together right in front of Tim who had to avoid the debris of Bliss' left rear quarter panel which flew off onto the track right in front of his car.
During a caution with fifteen laps remaining in the event, Tim and Steve Park had pitted for fresh tires to try to gain some valuable positions at the end of the race. After the restart, the two were considerably faster than most of the cars that had stayed out. As the two cars caught slower cars that had older tires, Tim clipped the back of his brother Jay's car and triggered a five-car wreck on the backstretch. "Park and I were so much faster with the fresh tires. We pulled right up on the other cars so quickly that I got into Jay and Steve hit me really hard from behind as I tried to check-up, it sent a couple of us around. It was just a racing deal. I don't like to tear up equipment, especially late in a race trying to gain a few points, but it happened and we have to move on and get ready for Charlotte."
The NASCAR Busch Series is off next week, racing again under the lights at Lowes Motor Speedway in the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on May 27th. The team will use the off-weekend regrouping and finishing the preparation of a new Chevy Monte Carlo SS for the event at the newly repaved oval.