LESTER BUILDINGS CHEVY MATCHES BEST FINISH OF SEASON AT MARTINSVILLE July 22nd, Martinsville Speedway. Tim Sauter and his McGill Motorsports team finished 19th at the season opening Hershey's Kisses 300 at Daytona; the team never imagined the...
LESTER BUILDINGS CHEVY MATCHES BEST FINISH OF SEASON AT MARTINSVILLE
July 22nd, Martinsville Speedway. Tim Sauter and his McGill Motorsports team finished 19th at the season opening Hershey's Kisses 300 at Daytona; the team never imagined the next top-twenty would have come twenty races later. But that is exactly how long it took as the team finally cracked the top-twenty again at the Martinsville Speedway finishing 19th behind winner Kevin Harvick at the Goody's 250.
Tim qualified a season's best 14th on the half-mile track with a lap of 20.02 seconds. Proving the qualifying effort was no fluke; Tim was able to maintain his position in the top fifteen during first third of the race. He brought the Lester Buildings Chevy in for service from the 13th spot on lap 80, however not all of the lead lap cars pitted, and Sauter re-started 25th. Several laps later, Tim got caught in an altercation between Danny O'Quinn and Boris Said. The contact pushed the left front fender on Tim's Chevy into the tire forcing him to bring the car in for left side tires and body repairs. Since the #36 was now near the back of the pack, Ricky Pearson called Tim to the pit again for four fresh tires on lap 114 and Sauter was in 30th place just before the halfway point of the race.
At a track as tight as Martinsville, Tim had his work cut out for him to move through the running order. By lap 135, he maneuvered the silver #36 into 24th place and continued toward the front, breaking back into the top-twenty on lap 175. Sauter endured the record nineteen cautions to finish in the 19th position; matching the teams best finish this season.
"I'm sounding like a broken record, but again, track position was key to the whole race," Tim said afterwards. "We had a car capable of running in the top ten, but it's so hard to pass at this place I could only make it back to 19th. We got caught in that deal with the 50 & 9 and we had to pull the fender off the tire. All the cautions didn't help either, I would just start to get in a rhythm and another caution would fly."
"We were a little loose going into the corners, but that is the best we have cut the corner all year. We had a little different shock package this weekend and it made a big difference," Sauter continued. "With just a little luck we could have easily been tenth or twelfth today."
The next race for Tim Sauter and the McGill Motorsports team is Saturday, July 29th at the Gateway International Raceway near St Louis, Mo. This race will mark the first time that the NASCAR Busch Series will use unleaded fuel, which will be mandatory next season. The Gateway Busch 250 will be broadcast live on TNT at 8:00ET.