Sawyer redeems himself with strong run Shawn A. Akers WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 5, 1998) What a roller coaster of a weekend for Elton Sawyer. On Saturday morning, he had apparently won the Bud Pole Award for Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series...
Sawyer redeems himself with strong run Shawn A. Akers
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 5, 1998) What a roller coaster of a weekend for Elton Sawyer.
On Saturday morning, he had apparently won the Bud Pole Award for Sunday's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division DieHard 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Early in the afternoon, after Sawyer's No. 38 Barbasol Ford was inspected following qualifying, it was discovered that the car had used fuel that did not meet NASCAR specifications. Sawyer was penalized and then forced to the back of the pack to start Sunday's race.
On Sunday, Sawyer had one of the best runs of his career, charging his way through the field and eventually winding up second to race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who dominated the race from its beginning.
The runner-up finish was Sawyer's best of the 1998 season.
"We came out here today and showed what we're really made out of," Sawyer said. "It was a great effort. I mean, we had a good car. When you have to pass as many cars as we had to pass today and then get out there to the 3 car (Earnhardt) and have enough to race him -- I felt like we did -- but I stepped up a little bit, and he just stepped up a little more."
Sawyer said he felt terrible about the rules infraction situation, knowing that he'd have to make up a lot of ground during the race.
"What happened yesterday was just kind of a fluke deal," Sawyer said. "It was a bad situation. It was embarrassing for me and for my race team and for our sponsors."
The rules infraction, in turn, gave the Bud Pole Award to Jeff Purvis, who was also awarded the track record in qualifying of 119.904 mph. Sawyer's original speed was 120.000 mph.
Sawyer's previous best finish this season was fourth, which he accomplished at both Bristol and Pikes Peak. It was also his seventh top-10 and second top-five finish of the year.
Sawyer is still seeking his first victory in quite some time and the second overall of his NASCAR Busch Series career. His first and only triumph came at Myrtle Beach in June of 1994.
The NASCAR Busch Series returns to Myrtle Beach Speedway next Saturday night for the Myrtle Beach 250.
Source: NASCAR Online