Richmond: Johnny Sauter preview

Johnny Sauter and Friends in Richmond To Win or Bust With ...

Johnny Sauter and Friends in Richmond To Win or Bust With #43 Energizer/Menards Chevrolet Silverado

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 7, 2005) -- Johnny Sauter is back at it. It took a week or so to get over the disappointment of putting his #43 Menards Chevrolet Silverado together for the Indianapolis NASCAR Truck Series event in August, and then never getting an opportunity to turn a lap because of rain.

But as racing is the name of the game, Sauter will again strap on the gear, this time looking to take his recent surge in the NASCAR Busch Series and translate it into a Truck series win Thursday night at Richmond International Raceway behind the wheel of the neon red #43 Energizer/Menards Chevrolet Silverado.

While many don't understand the costs, time and energy it takes to attempt even one Truck series event, Sauter does. And following Indianapolis, there was a week of silence before the fires could burn again.

"I really love the Truck series," said Sauter, whose best finish in a Truck came last year when he was second at Indianapolis. "It's great racing, it's gritty, and it's really the only place where a guy can reasonably pull off a one-race deal like we are and have a chance to win."

Last year, Sauter built his Edge Performance Racing Chevy truck and raced in two events, posting the second place at IRP and a 12th place at Richmond.

"This truck is like my baby, I keep it in my shop like it's a Daytona 500 trophy. Sometimes I just come in to stare at it. It's also cool because I prepare it myself with friends; friends who are willing to donate their time to just go out and race -- but with a real chance to win. I couldn't do it without them and honestly none of us would do it if we didn't think we could win. These guys have day jobs elsewhere and they're coming to my shop at midnight to help out. We have a good time, too. It's fun because we have a lot to prove, but nothing to lose. It's 'win or bust' and the satisfaction of being able to go out and possibly beat the Toyota teams and the factory Dodge and Ford teams is pretty sweet. Of course, we could get our 'you-know-whats' handed to us, too, but that's just racing!"

Following the Indy event where Sauter and friends spent countless hours preparing the truck only to load it back up on the trailer without an opportunity to run one lap, Sauter felt at an all-time low.

"After IRP, it was pretty grim; all of us who worked on this truck just disappeared," he said. "We were all like, "Whatever." Nobody wanted to talk about it, Nobody wanted to do anything but forget this truck existed. It looked so good, it sounded so good and we all wanted to do well for Menards in their big Indy market, especially after coming so close to winning there last year. In the end, all we got was a tire bill and a day of standing in the rain.

"But a week later the Menards folks asked if we were ready to try again and it was like, 'Hmmmm, Richmond - I love that track - we could win that race!' So we started all over again and here we are loading up a truck to go racing. I'm pumped up again. I think this truck can surprise people."

Sauter will race all three NASCAR events at Richmond this weekend, a track he where won in the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series event in dramatic fashion.

Look for the neon red Energizer/Menards Chevy Silverado. You won't miss it, unless Mother Nature has other plans.


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Johnny Sauter