Sandusky, Oh. (July 20, 2010) -- It doesn't take much to motivate Johnny Sauter to go out and win. Hang a checkered flag and offer up a trophy to the winner and Sauter is all in. But put that trophy within his grasp and then snatch it away at the...
Sandusky, Oh. (July 20, 2010) -- It doesn't take much to motivate Johnny Sauter to go out and win. Hang a checkered flag and offer up a trophy to the winner and Sauter is all in. But put that trophy within his grasp and then snatch it away at the last second and Sauter will find that extra motivation, and that's exactly how he feels returning to O'Reilly Raceway Park. Sauter, in a self-built truck no less, dominated the Camping World Truck race at ORP in 2004, leading 139 of the race's 200 laps. But a bump out of the last turn coming to the white flag dropped him to second and he's ready to even the score.
What do you remember about that 2004 race at ORP? "We dominated that race. It was a truck that Joe Shear and I built in my garage. My dad had raced it one other time that year at Milwaukee but it was the first time I drove and we didn't really know what to expect. We led most of the race and then there was a caution with about 20 to go. We stayed out and everyone else pitted. We still drove away from them on the restart but there was another spin with about five to go and we couldn't hold them off on that restart. Travis Kvapil got into us coming to the white flag and that opened the top groove for Chad Chaffin and it pushed us back to second."
Did you have to get used to racing next to the wall when you first raced there? "I've never really run the high groove there like everyone else does. I've always run a little bit different groove there. It didn't seem strange to me to be that close to the wall, you just want to run wherever your car or truck is the fastest. I found a line that was a little better for me, but lately it seems that the pavement is getting a little worn down and the grip isn't what it used to be. Even the groove that I run has moved up a little bit."
What is it about ORP that seems to suit you so well? "I don't know what it is about that place but I just love racing there. I won the ASA race there in 2000 the same night we locked up the championship. The first time I raced a Nationwide car there we finished fourth. We ran second in both the Truck race and the Nationwide race in 2004. Joe and I seem to have a really good setup for that place and whenever you have that confidence that you're going to run good you usually do."