TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 5, 2003) -- A cut tire on the PayDay Chevrolet forced Johnny Sauter to make a sudden left turn on lap nine, starting a string of accidents that involved nearly one-half of the 43-car field in Saturday's Aaron's 312 at ...
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 5, 2003) -- A cut tire on the PayDay Chevrolet forced Johnny Sauter to make a sudden left turn on lap nine, starting a string of accidents that involved nearly one-half of the 43-car field in Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The PayDay Racing team banged and prodded sheet metal on the car in the garage for nearly 50 laps to prepare the car to get back on the track. Sauter crossed the finish line in 26th place, 42 laps behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the race.
"It was a real tough day for the PayDay Chevrolet," Sauter said. "You've got to take your hats off to my crew. Once again they performed flawlessly under pressure and were able to get the PayDay Chevy back out on the track. That was big. We were able to collect some points and even make up a little ground in the owner's championship."
The PayDay Racing team is 30 points behind the No. 92 team, featuring Todd Bodine. Bodine finished 27th, one spot behind Sauter.
The weekend started on a good note for Sauter and the PayDay team. Sauter was the second car to make a qualifying attempt on Thursday. At the end of the day, he had posted the ninth-fastest time.
Sauter occupied the 19th spot on the speed charts during the final practice on Friday, but crew chief Butch Hylton was impressed with the car on long runs and was confident they would have a top-five car for Saturday.
"I am extremely proud of the PayDay team," Hylton said. "They worked their butts off to get the car back out on the track and keep us in the points hunt."
Next week the NASCAR Busch Series travels to its first stand-alone event of the year, the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The green flag waves Saturday, April 12, at 3 p.m. ET. Sauter will again drive the PayDay Chevrolet while Kevin Harvick competes in Martinsville, Va.