JENNERSTOWN, Penn. -- Like a broken record, the cheers of the AP Performance Racing team rung out, as their driver, rookie Johnny Sauter, recorded his eighth victory of the 2001 ASA ACDelco Series season, extending his point lead and all but ...
JENNERSTOWN, Penn. -- Like a broken record, the cheers of the AP Performance Racing team rung out, as their driver, rookie Johnny Sauter, recorded his eighth victory of the 2001 ASA ACDelco Series season, extending his point lead and all but wrapping up the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year honors.
Sauter's victory was made possible by bad luck once again for second-place points sitter Gary St. Amant, who controlled the race until a flat tire resulted in a late race pit stop. Unlike last week's accident on the last lap, St. Amant recovered and finished the event in second after charging back through the field.
"With 10 laps to go, it was all or nothing," said Sauter. "I just didn't want to see a caution. I never would have dreamed we could have won eight races. The car was really good on long runs. When the spotter told me Gary was coming, I started picking it up a little."
Sauter took the lead from St. Amant on lap 254 when the Columbus, Ohio native's right front tire was going down after leading 52 of the event's 300 laps. St. Amant was one of six different drivers to hold the top spot on the afternoon.
"If we would have had 10 more laps, we might have gotten him," said St. Amant, whose car was visibly the fastest late in the event. "Johnny and I bumped a little bit (with about 50 to go). Right after that was the first time all day we had a push. It was a good call to pit. We had the fresher tires at the end. I wasn't sure how much Johnny's tires had given up."
St. Amant and veteran Mike Eddy, who finished third, had a coming together for the second straight week while battling for the event's lead. On lap 198, the two bumped, resulting in Eddy's spinning in turn four.
"I raced Mike side-by-side for 20 laps," said St. Amant. "I don't know if he thought he was clear. He came down and I nudged him. We were racing hard for the lead. I actually got out of the gas to let him gather it up. I am glad we put all of that stuff from last week behind us."
Three-time ASA National Champion Butch Miller finished fourth, while Madison's winner, Robbie Pyle, rounded out the top five. Kevin Cywinski, Joey Clanton, Scott Hansen, Chad Wood and Tim Ice rounded out the top-10 finishers.
ASA will return to competition next Monday, on Labor Day, at the Minnesota State Fair Speedway is St. Paul, Minnesota. The traditional, one-day event will go green at 2 p.m. (local). The event will be telecast on TNN Sports on a tape-delayed basis, at 12:30 a.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday, September 4, and will re-air on Saturday, September 8, at 4 p.m.