Sauters to enjoy historical family affair during NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division event at The Milwaukee Mile. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2002) - The Sauter racing family may not possess the theatrical flair of the legendary Flock...
Sauters to enjoy historical family affair during NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division event at The Milwaukee Mile.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 24, 2002) - The Sauter racing family may not possess the theatrical flair of the legendary Flock racing clan - which included one of the three brothers driving with a monkey in the car and a sister who competed against them at one time - but they do match them for historical significance in NASCAR history.
Forty-year-old Jay, 37-year-old Tim and 24-year-old Johnny Sauter - three brothers who are regular competitors in the NASCAR Busch Series - can join the Flocks as only the second family in the 54-year history of NASCAR to have four members compete in the same national series race when their 59-year-old father Jim, a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver, attempts to make the field for Sunday's GNC Live Well 250 at The Milwaukee Mile.
"I've raced against Jay and Tim before, so Johnny is going to be the new guy on the block," Jim Sauter said."I don't know who my stiffest competition is among the boys, but I'm going to be pretty good competition for them."
NASCAR has witnessed three brothers compete over the years, including the Sauters doing so for the first time last year at Homestead, Fla., but four family members is a rarity, especially in a premier racing series.
Up to this point in NASCAR history, the Flocks have been the only family to accomplish such a feat.
It occurred in 1949, NASCAR's inaugural season, when brothers Bob, Fonty and Tim - who raced with a monkey named Jocko Flocko - were joined by their sister, Ethel, for the July race at the Daytona beach and road course.
"It's really weird - a lot of families work their whole lives for one member to get a shot at a professional sport. Here you have three from the same family at the same level and I am very proud to be part of this family," Tim Sauter said."Johnny and I have raced at Milwaukee together before but this is something completely unique to have four of us there. Most importantly, it will be fun."
The opportunity for Jim Sauter to compete against his sons in the No. 2 motorsports series in the United States comes courtesy of Richard Childress Racing and sponsor Rockwell Automation. RCR will add the No. 29 Rockwell Automation/Advance Chevrolet for Jim to its NASCAR Busch Series racing stable that already includes eldest son Jay in the No. 21 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet and youngest son Johnny in the No. 2 AC/Delco Chevrolet. Tim will be in the No. 19 Miller Welding Chevrolet for owner Alec Pinsonneault.
"Rockwell Automation is proud to be part of this historic occasion," said Don H. Davis Jr., Chairman of the Board and CEO of Rockwell Automation."As a Wisconsin-based company, it is exciting to give a Wisconsin racing legend the opportunity to compete against three of his sons at a level as competitive as the NASCAR Busch Series. We will have over 300 customers and employees at The Milwaukee Mile with thousands of others watching on TV. We will definitely be pulling for the No. 21 Rockwell Automation car and the No. 29 Rockwell Automation/Advance car to finish 1-2."
Jim may be giving away some years to his sons, but he has always been quite a racing talent. He starred at Wisconsin short tracks and eventually earned a ride in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, where he competed in 76 races from 1980-96 and recorded four top-10 finishes. Since his retirement from the series, he has remained active working with and testing cars for the International Race of Champions series (IROC).
"I tell you, the old man still has it in him," said Tim, who is in his second full season in the NASCAR Busch Series."Dad used to do tests there (Milwaukee Mile) all the time. Years ago when the Cup guys like Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin didn't have time to test in Milwaukee, my dad would be the guy they would call to go up there for them. He has also done all types of testing for Goodyear and IROC. Even though he has no provisional, I know he will make the race on lap time."
The Sauters, with the exception of Tim, had an opportunity to test at Milwaukee last week in preparation for this weekend.
"Jay was quicker, but I don't know if that was because of the set of tires or just me being a little lazy on the wheel," said Jim, who will be making his fourth career NASCAR Busch Series start and first since Myrtle Beach in 1997."But I stay very consistent and that's what I always look for is consistency."
Jay and Tim already have enjoyed the opportunity to compete against their father at some stage of their careers, but this will be a first for Johnny. And he is well aware of his father's talent, having watched his dad rule local tracks when he was 10 years old.
"He won all the time - I remember watching him win 10 out of 14 features one time. He was the man back then," said Johnny Sauter, a Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidate."I'm definitely looking forward to it (racing against him). He's got a lot of experience and I saw that at the test we had last Monday and Tuesday. It should be a lot of fun."
The weekend also will serve as quite a homecoming for the Wisconsin-bred Sauter family. They grew up in the tiny village of Necedah (pop. 888), which is 74 miles from the state capital of Madison.
"It's always fun to go home to Wisconsin and race at Milwaukee," said Jay Sauter, who is in his third season in the NASCAR Busch Series."We consider it our home track on the circuit and it's got a lot of history. I can remember going to the state fair there when I was a kid and watching the USAC races - A.J. Foyt and all the big names in Wisconsin competing against each other. It was always a dream of mine to race there at some point in my life. Now I get to do it and compete against my brothers and dad as well."
"I'm excited about everything we have going on for the Milwaukee race," Johnny added."My dad's in a (RCR) team car. We're going home to Wisconsin. This is the first time all of us together will be racing against each other. Everything about this weekend is so exciting."
And just imagine if they had a monkey along for the ride, too.