NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 7) - Johnny Sauter made another impressive run in the PayDay Chevrolet Saturday night under the lights in Nashville. The Trace Adkins "Chrome" 300 was the event, and Sauter, who led 20 laps, had a second-place finish wrapped...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 7) - Johnny Sauter made another impressive run in the PayDay Chevrolet Saturday night under the lights in Nashville. The Trace Adkins "Chrome" 300 was the event, and Sauter, who led 20 laps, had a second-place finish wrapped up until a lap 219 incident limited Sauter to an 11th-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway.
"We had a really good race car tonight," Sauter said. "I thought the PayDay car was the best car on the track. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck. A battery problem got us behind, but these guys on the PayDay team were awesome and got me back on the track without losing a lap. That was big. We were really good all night long, our finish just didn't show it."
Rain and thunderstorms threatened the Nashville area for most of the weekend, and Friday's qualifying session and final practice were cancelled due to rain. Per the NASCAR rulebook, the cars would line up for Saturday's event according to owners points. Sauter and the PayDay Chevrolet would start from the first position for the third time of the season. The other two poles were Harvick's record-setting laps at California and Charlotte.
At the drop of the green flag Saturday night, the field was off with Sauter on point. Sauter led the first 20 laps of the event. The car became tight, and a lap 33 caution would bring the PayDay machine onto pit road for its first round of service. The PayDay crew serviced the car with four tires, fuel, wedge and track bar adjustments, and Sauter returned to the racing surface in the eighth position.
By lap 80, Sauter had worked his way back to the fifth position when a caution flag waived, and Sauter returned to pit road for service. This time, the PayDay team had some troubles on the stop, and again Sauter would return to the track in the eighth spot.
While battling his way through the pack, Sauter brushed another car and sustained right front fender damage to the PayDay Chevrolet. Not only did he have body damage to contend with, but Sauter also began losing power in the engine. A lap 132 caution brought Sauter into the pits for two stops to repair the damage on the front end of his machine. Under the caution the team concluded that there wasn't an engine problem, it was an electrical problem. Sauter switched to his back up ignition and continued battling through the pack for position.
On lap 147, Sauter brought the PayDay Chevrolet down pit road, and the PayDay team made one of their most impressive pit stops of the year. Rear tire changer Jake Lind was able to replace the battery in the PayDay Chevrolet and return him to the racing surface without losing a lap, an impressive feat at a one-mile track. Sauter would return to pit road two more times under caution to top off the fuel cell. After a busy period on pit road, Sauter was in the 13th position on lap 151.
By lap 165 Sauter had weaved his way through the field and claimed the fifth position. Sauter then methodically began picking off positions one by one. On lap 218, Sauter made the pass for the second position. Unfortunately, an incident on the front stretch left Sauter spinning into the wall and plowing through the infield. That would bring out the red flag, and Sauter was forced to sit on pit road until the race resumed before making repairs to his machine.
The PayDay team was able to return Sauter to the track before the race ended, losing only two laps. Scott Riggs claimed his second victory of the year, and Sauter crossed the line in 11th place.
Sauter remains ninth in the standings, 247 points behind Riggs, the new leader, and 24 points behind place Bobby Hamilton Jr., who is eighth.
The PayDay team remains the top-ranked unit in the owners standings,
The NASCAR Busch Series now moves to the Kentucky Speedway for the Meijer 300 on Saturday, June 14. The race can be seen live on FX at 7:30 p.m. ET and head live on MRN radio.