Late Race Wreck Costs Top-20 for Tim Sauter Sept 8th, Richmond International Raceway. Friday nights NASCAR Busch Series Emerson 250 provided a lot of excitement for the 75,000 fans in attendance at the Virginia short track. A record tying...
Late Race Wreck Costs Top-20 for Tim Sauter
Sept 8th, Richmond International Raceway. Friday nights NASCAR Busch Series Emerson 250 provided a lot of excitement for the 75,000 fans in attendance at the Virginia short track. A record tying fourteen cautions occurred during the event, most of them for on-track altercations. McGill Motorsports driver Tim Sauter had avoided trouble until lap 220 when contact with Stacey Compton caused the events 12th caution and put Sauter's Lester Buildings Chevy behind the wall, relegating the team to a 35th place finish.
Tim started shotgun on the field of forty-three cars that included sixteen drivers who were running both the Busch Series race Friday and the Nextel Cup race on Saturday. Tim started working his way forward reaching 32nd when the third caution flew on lap 37. A tight condition caused Tim to slide back to 36th before the caution flew again on lap 64. Following a quick stop by the McGill crew for fresh tires and a chassis adjustment Tim restarted 31st and with the improved handling, he was able to move the Lester Buildings car into the top-25 at the races 100-lap mark.
Strategy by crew chief Ricky Pearson moved Sauter as high as 13th place following a caution on lap 147, but Tim was not able to stay in the top-20 as cars with fresh tires dropped him down to 25th place when a caution came out on lap 173. Nine drivers stayed on the track while Tim and many other drivers came to the pits for tires and adjustments that would take them to the checkered flag. When the race re-started on lap 180 Tim was in 30th place.
The adjustments made the #36 car come to life and Tim quickly started working his way forward breaking into the top-25 by lap 195. He reached the top-20 following a restart on lap 211 and was poised to keep charging forward. On lap 220, racing for 19th position Tim got inside of Stacey Compton down the front straight, as they reached the corner they made contact causing the two of them to spin, also collecting Todd Kluever and Burney Lamar.
Sauter's bid for a strong finish was over as the #36 was damaged too badly to continue. "I was clear-up to his door at the end of the straight and I'm not sure if his spotter didn't tell him I was there or what, it seemed like he just came down into my lane going into the corner. I was right down on the yellow line," a dejected Sauter said after the race. "It's one of those racing deals; thirty laps to go, we had a good car, and we were racing hard."
"We were tight all weekend, but Ricky and the guys kept adjusting and making the car better. The Lester Buildings car was really good after that last stop, and we could have picked-up several more spots had we not got in that mess," Sauter explained. "We had really good pit stops tonight, I think we gained positions on every stop. It's a real shame because we had a great chance to pick-up some points on the 90 and the 4."
After sixteen straight weekends of racing the NASCAR Busch Series teams finally have a week off to catch-up for the season's final seven races. The next event is the Dover 200 on Saturday, September 23rd at the Dover International Speedway.