Sauter, AP Performance Chevy roll to career-best NBS finish at California. FONTANA, CA (April 27, 2002) Tim Sauter was all smiles after scoring a career-best, seventh-place finish in the Auto Club 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at California ...
Sauter, AP Performance Chevy roll to career-best NBS finish at California.
FONTANA, CA (April 27, 2002) Tim Sauter was all smiles after scoring a career-best, seventh-place finish in the Auto Club 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway Saturday. The effort bettered a previous best of a ninth-place finish at Bristol, TN a year ago and had the driver of the No. 19 AP Performance Chevy Monte Carlo upbeat after the event.
"I am very happy with our performance today - this Global Industrial Contractors Chevy had a great run," said Sauter. "We had a solid car all day and our pit strategy was bold, but well thought out. Things are starting to come together for us. I had a feeling that we might do well today. Our car was good right off the truck. In the final practice we weren't that fast but we were learning. You just give this team time and they figure it out."
Sauter started the 150-lap event from the 18th position after rain washed out qualifying setting the 43-car field by points. From the drop of the green flag, it was evident Sauter was headed to the front as he rolled into the Top-10 by Lap 25. The Necedah, WI driver stayed with the leaders throughout the race despite a couple of tense moments for his AP Performance Racing team.
The most serious of those came on Lap 78 when Sauter radioed his crew that his engine had developed a skip. The third caution of the day allowed Sauter to ease down pit road where the hood went up on the No. 19 Chevy. Lightning quick diagnostic work by the AP Team revealed that the problem was simply a loose header. Despite an ill sounding racecar, Sauter returned to the track without losing a lap. Later, Sauter took on fuel only on his final stop on Lap 96 rolling the dice that he would have enough gas to make it to the finish. That put him in a position to battle for a Top-10 finish eventually winning the fuel mileage bet and coming home with the career-best seventh at the checkered flag
"We are a new team in the Busch Series and to perform this well in our first year is significant," said Sauter. "Bobby Bakeeff, our new crew chief, has given us a boost and the way he works with the rest of the guys has made us a better team. Everyone is doing a great job right now and the results are starting to show that." Adding to the excitement for Sauter and the team was their one-race marketing partnership with California-based Global Industrial Contractors.
"We had a lot of fun being associated with Global Industrial Contractors," said Sauter. "I spent some time with them in hospitality on race morning and they were right there in the pits with the team enjoying our good run as much as we were. That's the kind of support we want. We're still unsponsored for the year, but having companies like GIC on board for a race or two is really a big boost for us." Sauter earned $27,275 in prize money for the top effort and jumped two spots in the NBS season championship standings to 15th position.
Sauter and his No. 19 AP Performance Chevrolet Monte Carlo will be back in action Friday, May 3, in the Hardees 250 at Richmond International Speedway at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will broadcast live on FX Television and MRN Radio.
For More information on Tim Sauter and the AP Performance Racing team, please visit www.timsauter.com.