Tim Sauter 31st at Atlanta Lester Buildings Driver Dips to 27th in NBS Point Standings. March 18th, Atlanta Motor Speedway. The McGill Motorsports team brought a new Chevy Monte Carlo SS to Atlanta this weekend, however, the combination just...
Tim Sauter 31st at Atlanta
Lester Buildings Driver Dips to 27th in NBS Point Standings.
March 18th, Atlanta Motor Speedway. The McGill Motorsports team brought a new Chevy Monte Carlo SS to Atlanta this weekend, however, the combination just never clicked on the fast mile and a half speedway. Though they made numerous changes, Ricky Pearson and the crew struggled to get the car handling to Tim's liking. Sauter finished the event in 31st place, several laps down to winner Jeff Burton.
"This was a new car that we brought down here this weekend, we felt we had this car set-up similar to the car that was running so well that we crashed last week at Las Vegas, obviously we were wrong. On the bright side, when we first went to Las Vegas for the test back in February, we had a similar condition with that car, and after some careful work, we got that car very good. I have all the faith that Ricky and the guys will get this car to handle better," Sauter said after the race.
Starting in the 41st position, Sauter and his silver #36 were never able to get the car up to competitive race speeds. "This thing was a handful, just a handful, I couldn't get the car to turn at all, it slid the nose just terrible, and I had to wait forever to get on the gas. I just felt like I was in the way all day out there. The guys threw a bunch of changes at it on every stop, it did get better, but we never really got a handle on it. I'm just glad we were able to stay out of the way and bring the car home in one piece."
One of the challenges and independent team like McGill Motorsports faces is the restriction on testing that NASCAR has mandated. The teams with Cup affiliation have so many more resources to prepare their cars prior to bringing a car to the track. "With only 2 hours of practice prior to the race, the smaller teams like us have to use the pre-race practice session to try to work the bugs out of a new car, if the car is not perfect there's just not enough time to get competitive," explained Sauter. "The car has to be good when you unload, if it's not, you chase it like we did this weekend."
The team has much higher hopes heading to next weekends Sharpie MINI 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Tim was the 1999 ASA (American Speed Association) National Champion, a series run exclusively on short tracks similar in size to Bristol. "We're still in the top 30 in points of the teams that have run all five races so far, so we can go to Bristol and work on race set-up. I feel we owe Lester Buildings and John & Nancy McGill a better run. The boys will have the Bristol car ready, and I'll be ready!"