BUSCH: Atlanta: Tim Sauter race notes

Tim Sauter started the Aaron's 312 in the 16th spot after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by owner's points. At the drop of the green flag, Sauter's No. 19 Chevy was tight from the center off in the corners. On Lap 29 the AP ...

Tim Sauter started the Aaron's 312 in the 16th spot after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by owner's points. At the drop of the green flag, Sauter's No. 19 Chevy was tight from the center off in the corners. On Lap 29 the AP Performance Racing Team made a four tire pit stop with extended adjustments to the right rear. Sauter returned to the track in the 33rd position as many other cars took on only two tires. Sauter climbed to the 20th position before taking fuel only under caution on Lap 64, boosting him into the 10th position. He appeared headed for another solid Top 10 finish, but that was not in the cards. He radioed on Lap 110 that he had a miss in the engine. Sauter pulled behind the wall for repairs on Lap 128. After determining that the problem was not terminal, the AP Performance racing team changed a spark plug and sent Sauter back on the track seven laps down in the 33rd position. He soldiered on in the final laps, picking up another position to finish the day 32nd. Sauter managed to keep alive a 12-race streak of no DNF's, and maintain his points position of 13th.

TIM SAUTER POST RACE QUOTES:

How fast was you car before you lost a cylinder?

"We had a great car here, and could have had another Top 10. The car handled well and I could really put a ton of wheel into it. Today we did everything we could, but there is not much to do when a cylinder lays down. You just have to hope to make it until the end of the race before she blows, and we did. We will probably take this car to Homestead because we know it's fast."

How frustrating is it keep driving, despite only having seven cylinders?...

"On seven cylinders I could go full throttle all around the track. It's really frustrating to drive the race and not be able to really compete, but you have to make all the laps you can because we are racing for points. We will just have to go back to the drawing board, and see what we can get next weekend."

Does this hurt AP Performance Racing's momentum in the closing races of the 2002 season?...

"I don't think so. We have some good tracks coming up where we know we can do well. This weekend we prepared a good car just like we have been doing every week. I don't want the team to get down about this. We'll be back again next week, ready to race."

-appr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tim Sauter