Finally, a Top-10 for Tim Sauter Green Light Racing team scores best finish of year in Texas When the smoke cleared at the end of Saturday's Chevy Silverado 350k, Tim Sauter finally scored a top-10 finish. It took 23 races to make it happen, but...
Finally, a Top-10 for Tim Sauter
Green Light Racing team scores best finish of year in Texas
When the smoke cleared at the end of Saturday's Chevy Silverado 350k, Tim Sauter finally scored a top-10 finish. It took 23 races to make it happen, but the Green Light team achieved one of its pre-season goals of top-10 finishes. For the second time in three races the last ten laps of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was plagued by two large accidents. Differing from Martinsville where Sauter was in the midst of the melee, Friday Sauter received only minor contact and scooted through the spinning trucks in tenth place at the checkers behind fellow Wisconsinite Ted Musgrave.
The trucks qualified for the race on Thursday night, however a poor qualifying draw and a loose truck led to a 31st place start after practicing near the top-15. "We were just way too loose on Thursday night in qualifying, I had to check-up and that cost us a couple tenths. Our Lester Buildings/ASILimited Silverado was a lot better in race trim."
The race started with a quick yellow on lap three that involved fellow rookie contender Joey Clanton, Sauter ducked to pit lane for a quick adjustment and restarted 32nd. Tim soon began passing trucks and moved up ten places by lap 40. Crew Chief Doug Howe left Sauter on the track to lead a lap and earn 5 bonus points, pitting one lap behind the rest of the lead lap trucks. Tim restarted 24th and began working his way towards the front of the field moving into the top-20 when the third caution flew on lap 70. A good stop by the Green Light team moved Sauter up to 15th on the lap 73 restart, the top four trucks staying on the track.
Tim held his own in the top-15, gaining several positions to 13th on lap 105 when the trucks that did not pit on lap 70 began making green flag stops. As pit stops began to cycle, Tim moved into the top-10, running as high as 6th before having to pit himself on lap 125 for fuel and tires. After all the green flag stops had been completed, Sauter was the first truck one lap down in 13th place when the caution flew for Travis Kvapil's blown tire on lap 141.
A huge six-truck pile-up started when point leads Ron Hornaday and Mike Skinner spun following the restart and caused a lengthy red flag to clean the track. It happened directly in front of Sauter, who was forced to the pit lane to check his tires after running through debris on the track. The stop dropped Tim back to 14th place. As the race went back to green with only three laps remaining, another multi-truck pile-up occurred at the front of the pack when Jack Sprague got into the back of Chad McCumbee. For one of the only times this year, racing luck favored the #07 and Sauter made it through the smoke and spinning trucks without incident, leaving him in 10th place in the final rundown, the first top-10 of the season for the Lester Buildings-sponsored team.
"We had a much better racetruck tonight than last week at Atlanta, We were a little free, but it got better as the night went on," Sauter said. "With the season is coming to a close I would love nothing more than to have a couple more strong runs for Lester Buildings. I'd like to thank ASILimited for their support this year."
Sauter earned his fifth Raybestos Rookie of the Race award of the year, tying him with Clanton for the most top finishes by a rookie in the series and remains second in the 2007 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. Tim is 16th in the Nascar Craftsman Truck Series point standings, only 57 points out of 15th place.