DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 5, 2002) - Tim Sauter was determined not to fall victim to 'The Big One' in Friday's Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In his past three superspeedway starts, the driver...
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 5, 2002) - Tim Sauter was determined not to fall victim to 'The Big One' in Friday's Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In his past three superspeedway starts, the driver of the No. 19 AP Performance Chevy had been swept into multi-car melees ruining his chances of a good finish.
"My main goal today was just to survive the race," said Sauter, who kept his racecar clean en route to a 12th-place finish Friday. "There was no sense in getting over aggressive and putting myself in the middle of something that was going to blow up. This AP Performance Racing Team is racing for points and to get a sponsor, so we have to be smart."
Sauter began the weekend by qualifying 27th with a lap of 49.439 seconds (182.043 miles per hour) on the historic 2.5-mile Daytona oval. In Happy Hour, Sauter just missed having his Chevy destroyed when a competitor struck it in the left rear and sent it on a wild ride down the Daytona backstretch and into a rain soaked infield. The damage to Sauter's car was minimal and the AP Performance Racing Team was able keep from changing to a back-up.
Sauter's strategy of playing it safe in the early stages of the race put him near the back of the field, but not out of harm's way as he narrowly missed one wreck on the track and slipped by another while entering his pit stall.
"I knew we had a good car, but I never really got a chance to get aggressive and make some moves," explained Sauter. "From where I was at most of the day, the wrecks were happening right in front of me and I had enough time to react."
Sauter drove through a third wreck, this time on Lap 49, and continued to ride just outside the Top 20 until the closing stages of the race. The Necedah, WI driver then dodged three more incidents before making his move toward the front with lass than 20 circuits remaining.
However, the carnage was not completely through and Sauter skillfully avoided a multicar wreck on the backstretch, which brought out the red flag with just four laps remaining. Sauter then rode out the final laps to finish 12th.
"I had a great car, much better than what I had in the spring race," said Sauter. "The race was no thriller for us. However, we survived and never even made contact with another car all day. It wasn't an aggressive drive for me, but it helps us out in the points. "
Sauter earned $23,675 in prize money maintained 12th position in the points standings, just 156 markers out of the Top-10.
Sauter will compete at Chicagoland Speedway for the first time in his career when the NASCAR Busch Series visits Chicagoland Speedway for the Tropicana Twister 300 on Saturday, July 5. The race is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will telecast live on NBC and broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.
For more information on Tim Sauter and AP Performance Racing, please visit www.timsauter.com.