PayDay Team Works Hard For Sauter in Kentucky SPARTA, Ky. (June 14) - Johnny Sauter started this weekend in Kentucky on a high note. He qualified 12th for the event and had a great car in the final practice. As Saturday night's Meijer 300 rolled...
PayDay Team Works Hard For Sauter in Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky. (June 14) - Johnny Sauter started this weekend in Kentucky on a high note. He qualified 12th for the event and had a great car in the final practice. As Saturday night's Meijer 300 rolled near, Sauter and the PayDay team had high expectations for the evening.
Unfortunately, a failure in the suspension prevented Sauter from running up front and relegated him to a 17th-place finish in the event that was won by Bobby Hamilton Jr. at Kentucky Speedway.
"We had a great car during Happy Hour," Sauter said. "Something in the suspension failed, and the car was a real handful all night. We had a couple of bad breaks that got us several laps down early on, but these PayDay guys never give up, and they worked hard to keep me in contention."
Sauter remains ninth in the standings, 254 points behind David Green, the new leader, and 12 points behind Mike Bliss, who is eighth.
The PayDay team remains the top-ranked unit in the team standings.
The Kentucky weekend started off well. During the first practice of the weekend, Sauter commented that the PayDay Chevrolet was the one of the best handling cars he had ever driven. Sauter drew an early qualifying number and went out 14th. The sun remained out during his qualifying run, and then shortly after, the sun tucked itself behind the clouds, making the track faster, and several competitors were able to post faster lap speeds.
The PayDay team once again hustled to make the proper adjustments to the car for Happy Hour, and Sauter was extremely pleased with car.
At the drop of the green flag Saturday night, the field was off with Sauter racing for the 15th spot early on. The race was caution free for the first 86 laps, so the first round of pit stops were under green flag conditions. Unfortunately, on lap 70 Sauter's PayDay machine ran out of fuel and spent one long and lonely lap around the race track before he was finally able to roll it onto pit road for service. When Sauter returned the PayDay Monte Carlo back to the racing surface, he was three laps down in the 20th position.
Sauter worked his way back up to the 14th position before telling the crew that the car was extremely loose. Over the course of several pit stops during caution periods, the PayDay team made several adjustments to try and cure the ill-handling conditions. The car wouldn't respond, and a lap 165 caution flag brought Sauter back to pit road again. This time, the PayDay team would replace the right-rear shock on pit road. The effort was impressive, as the team kept Sauter from losing another lap.
Sauter manhandled the PayDay machine around the racing surface for the remaining 50 laps. While doing so, he performed some of his best driving, as he turned some good laps while driving an extremely loose handling car.
The NASCAR Busch Series takes a weekend off before traveling to Milwaukee for an event on June 29.