Daytona: Tim Sauter race notes

Tough Start for Tim Sauter Mechanical issues end Daytona race just past halfway Tim Sauter and Lester Buildings Chevy team were down, but not out after the season opening Chevy Silverado 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The 28th place...

Tough Start for Tim Sauter
Mechanical issues end Daytona race just past halfway

Tim Sauter and Lester Buildings Chevy team were down, but not out after the season opening Chevy Silverado 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The 28th place finish is not what the team was hoping for to start the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

Sauter piloted the Lester Buildings #07 to the 23rd starting position with a lap of 51.64 seconds. "For some reason, we've been just terrible since we unloaded, nothing like the test last month. The guys worked really hard to get the truck better through practice," Sauter said following the qualifying run. "That's the best we were as far as the way it drove I guess since we've been here. I hope it's good in the draft. We struggled all day, yesterday and today, so we'll see what happens. I think it's our setup combination that we're kind of missing on but we'll see what happens in the race."

Unfortunately Tim was never able to find out how good the Lester Buildings Chevy could race as he was forced into the grass after being hit from behind trying to avoid the truck of Mike Wallace who bounced off of the front stretch wall directly in front of him on just the second circuit of the 100-lap race. The front valance of Sauter's Chevy was heavily damaged, ruining the aerodynamic balance of the truck.

Tim brought the #07 to the attention of his Green Light Racing crew guided by his younger brother Jim Jr. who attempted to repair the front splitter and valance to help keep the air from upsetting the truck. The repairs held well enough to allow Sauter to stay at the tail of the lead draft throughout the first half of the race. "We're not too bad if I stay in line," Sauter radioed to the crew several laps after returning to the track. "I'm just trying to stay out of trouble and get us a good finish." The Green Light team made repeated repairs on each caution and it looked like the team would be able to salvage the run.

On lap 46, Sauter radioed to the crew that the truck had lost power and he was switching ignition boxes. Soon the Lester Buildings entry began to show smoke, a telltale sign that the end was near. By lap 56, Tim brought the truck to pit road and eventually to the garage as his race was over, the power plant having expired.

"We never had a chance," Sauter said following the race. "These guys worked so hard to get us here and on lap two we're all tore up. I'm disappointed, but I sure am proud of how hard these guys worked over the last few weeks to get us here. Most of the guys on this team have only been here a month or less and we showed some great potential. It's a great bunch of kids, they really worked well together."

Sauter's teammate Chad McCumbee finished 13th in the GPS Store/Garmin #08 running as high as eighth in the closing laps of the event. "Chad did a good job, I wish we had been there to run with him at the end." Sauter added. "California will be a whole different deal so we'll load up, head west and hope for better luck next week, we'll be all right."

-credit: glr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace , Tim Sauter , Chad McCumbee