OREGON, Wis. (July 17, 2004) - Tim Sauter showed the crowd at the BFGoodrich Tires 250 presented by Sign-1-1 exactly why he was the ASA National Tour series champion in 1999. The Necedah, Wis., native returned to the ASA winners circle for the...
OREGON, Wis. (July 17, 2004) - Tim Sauter showed the crowd at the BFGoodrich Tires 250 presented by Sign-1-1 exactly why he was the ASA National Tour series champion in 1999. The Necedah, Wis., native returned to the ASA winners circle for the first time since 2000 in a tightly-contested battle on the .50-mile Madison International Speedway.
"It's real sweet," Sauter said of his return to the winner's circle. "I didn't know if I had it or not. I've got to thank my dad. He went and tested with us a lot on Monday. We ran 250 laps on this car, and ran 180 laps on the other car. Believe it or not, this is our speedway car and it's the first short track race for it.
"I had some super grip off the turn, and that's what won the race. The (car) would get good bite and that's what it took."
Sauter took the lead on lap 242, looking to the inside of the No. 71 Terry's Motorsports Ford of Brett Sontag. The two raced side-by-side for nearly two laps until Sauter prevailed for the lead in his No. 9 Lester Buildings Ford. It looked like he would hold on for the win until a late caution froze the lap count at 245 and bunched up the field. In ASA competition, if a yellow flies at the end of the race the last five laps are run green.
With the field bunched up for a five lap sprint, Sauter was able to run away to a moderate 1.074-second margin of victory, but behind him a huge war for second place was going on between Sontag, Rich Bickle and Kevin Cywinski.
Cywinski was able to move from fourth to second on the last turn as the three cars bounced off each other; Bickle ricocheted off the wall just past the start finish line after taking the checkers.
"I didn't think Rich was going to get inside the 71 (Sontag), and I kept trying to get a run on Rich and he chopped me down," Cywinski said of the battle. "Then he got a run on the 71 and I stuck my nose in on him coming down the backstretch and I knew I couldn't go three wide into (Turn 3). When Rich went down into there, he must have known I was there and drifted up just a little bit to move the 71 up. We got a good run on Rich and beat him to the line."
Bickle didn't quite see it the same way, though.
"We had the race to lose," he said. "We had a run on him there," Bickle said of the last- lap melee. "I thought I had Kevin beat to the line and he hooked me in the right rear coming off (Turn) 4. I guess that's the way he likes to race and that's the way we don't. But that's all right, we ran good tonight." The third place finish was Bickle's first top-5 finish in ASA National Tour competition since 1990.
The Jani-King pole award was won by Reed Sorenson, the third of his ASA career, but unfortunately it was to be the highlight of his day. During mass pit stops on lap 72, The No. 44 of Peter Cozzolino braked hard getting into his pit stall due to heavy congestion on pit road. This caused Butch Miller to slow down and Sorenson rammed hard into the back of Miller's No. 52 Timber Wolf Chevrolet, slightly raising the rear wheels off the ground and buckling Sorenson's hood.
The impact caused heavy front-end damage to Sorenson's No. 29 Target Dodge. Though the team tried valiantly to stay on the lead lap, making multiple pit stops for repairs, ultimately it ended his day. Sorenson finished 33rd on the field, out after just 74 laps.
In a highly competitive race that saw nine lead changes among six drivers, the BFGoodrich Tires Halfway Leader award went to Robbie Pyle in the No. 63 Citgo Chevrolet. The Cool Shirt "Cool Move of the Race" was given to Cywinski for his dash through the field to finish second. A nod for this award, however, goes to Tyler Walker for racing the leaders to get a lap back and finishing eighth, unofficially. Walker, the World of Outlaws champion, was in his first ASA National Tour race since 1996.
The ASA National Tour returns to action next at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind., on Saturday, July 31. The ASA Late Model Series will also run the track the same day for a double-header race. The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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