MILLINGTON, Tenn. (September 9, 2001) - Rookie sensation Johnny Sauter dominated the Rev Up Sports Drink 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park on Sunday, and in the process, tied the American Speed Association record for wins in a single season, his...
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (September 9, 2001) - Rookie sensation Johnny Sauter dominated the Rev Up Sports Drink 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park on Sunday, and in the process, tied the American Speed Association record for wins in a single season, his ninth of the 2001 ASA ACDelco Series season. Sauter's win also allowed the rookie to widen his point lead in both the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year race, and extends his point lead in the bid for the ASA National Championship to 146 points over Gary St. Amant.
Sauter, who started on the pole after setting a new track record in qualifying on Saturday, and his A.P. Plasman team made a four-tire pit stop on lap 100, one of only three teams that elected to change four tires, and charged back through the field after coming out 14th after a miscue during the stop. Sauter passed eventual runner-up Kevin Cywinski on lap 155 and never looked back, extending his lead to 2.807 seconds at the checkered flag.
"I don't know what happened during the pit stop, all I knew is that we had a car that could get back to the front," said Sauter, who is now tied with Bob Senneker (1984) and Butch Miller (1987) for wins in a single season. "I was worried we might have run out of laps. This is a sweet victory because I think we had one stolen from us last week in Minnesota. It has been an awesome season. I don't know what to expect anymore."
Cywinski was Sauter's only real challenge over the event's final 50 laps, although the 1997 ASA National Champion could only draw within 10 car lengths on one occasion. Cywinski's teammate Mike Garvey, who started outside the front row, led the first 31 laps of the Rev Up Sports Drink 200, but eventually fell out with rear end troubles.
"Sauter is so fast, we have to be perfect in order to compete," said Cywinski, who came out second during the stops and passed Miller on lap 111. "We were a little tight in the middle of the corner and made an adjustment on the stop. We weren't able to run with Johnny and were hoping by only changing two tires, that we could get a big enough lead. It didn't work."
For his victory, Sauter collected $22,880, including a $4,500 bonus from VP Fuels for winning from the pole. It allowed the rookie to collect another rookie record, as his season earnings of $227,380 eclipses the old rookie record, set by Steve Carlson in 1997.
Miller finished third, with Joey Clanton and Mike Cope rounding out the top-five. St. Amant, Mike Eddy, Travis Kittleson, Scott Hansen and Tim Taylor rounded out the top 10.
ASA returns to action next week, as the series will head to Winchester Speedway for the 32nd Annual Winchester 400. Activities at the track for the 2001 version of the Winchester 400 begin on September 14 with the first of three practice sessions and spectator gates opening at 11 a.m. (local). ASA two-lap qualifying goes off at 4 p.m. On September 15, spectator gates open and the first practice session begins at 11 a.m. The first of the Twin 125-lap qualifying races goes green at 2:30 p.m. Race day begins with spectator gates opening at 9 a.m. followed by the on-track autograph session scheduled for 11 a.m. Pre-race ceremonies are set for 12:15 p.m. and the start of the 32nd Annual Winchester 400 is scheduled for 1. The event will be telecast live on TNN Sports.