Practice makes perfect for Sauter, AP Performance Chevy at Charlotte. CONCORD, NC (May 25, 2002) - Tim Sauter was ready to turn in a great qualifying run in his first NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last year, but in the...
Practice makes perfect for Sauter, AP Performance Chevy at Charlotte.
CONCORD, NC (May 25, 2002) - Tim Sauter was ready to turn in a great qualifying run in his first NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last year, but in the process learned a valuable lesson on preparing to race the tricky 1.5-mile Charlotte oval.
"We focused too much on qualifying and not on the race set-up," said Sauter. "We were pretty stout and ended up seventh overall in the first practice session. Then rained washed out qualifying and we lined up by points. We never got a chance to work on race-set-up and, given how the racing surface at Charlotte is so sensitive to weather, we totally missed the set-up for the race."
Sauter eventually soldiered his ill-handling racer to a 23rd-place finish, each lap driving home the point of being totally prepared for both qualifying and the race. It's a lesson he put to good use in getting ready for this year's Charlotte NBS classic.
"This year, we're in the Top 15 in points we can afford to work more on our race setups and prepare our AP Performance Racing Chevy for long runs," said Sauter. "This time in Charlotte testing, Bobby (AP crew chief Bobby Bakeeff) and I looked for a chassis balance that will be a tick loose at the start of a run and tightens up as we post laps. That suits my driving style I am used to saving my equipment and being around in the end."
Recently, Sauter has been around at the end of races a lot. After a slow start to his first full NBS season, the 1999 American Speed Association champion has climbed 18 positions in the championship chase to 12th on the strength of five Top-15 finishes in the last six races. In the most recent Busch Series event at Nazareth Speedway, Sauter finished 14th.
"We started this year looking to run in the Top 15 right out of the box," explained Sauter of his new, unsponsored AP Performance team. "Now that we are finally there, the guys are hungry and we want to work harder because the Top 10 is just around the corner. There's a real determination and everyone is pushing hard. We just need to remember where we started from this season. We're starting to look at a 12th-place finish as a bad day. If that's the case, I think you can say we have improved."
At Lowe's, Sauter will be looking to continue to post the top finishes he has since pairing up with new crew chief Bobby Bakeeff.
"Lowe's Motor Speedway is very similar to Texas Motor and Atlanta Motor Speedways, but each maintains unique qualities," said Sauter "Atlanta is super-fast, Texas is bumpy, and Charlotte is temperature sensitive. In our test, we found the surface at Lowe's gets hot real quick in the afternoon, so it was slippery turning laps there. We learned a lot from the test that I think will help us in the race."
Sauter and his No. 19 AP Performance Chevrolet Monte Carlo will take the green flag in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway Saturday, May 25, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will telecast live on FOX Television and broadcast as it happens on PRN Radio.
For more information on Tim Sauter and the AP Performance Racing team visit www.timsauter.com.
ABOUT AP PERFORMANCE RACING:
AP Performance Racing debuted in 1992 as an American Speed Association entry with team owner Alec Pinsonneault as the driver. The Windsor, Ontario based team notched 16 ASA victories and a pair of division titles with Tim Sauter (1999) and Johnny Sauter (2001) delivering the championship trophies. Now housed in a state of the art facility in Mooresville, NC, AP Performance Racing will field a full-time NASCAR Busch Series effort in 2002 with Tim Sauter again handling the driving chores. AP Performance Racing is a division of AP Development. Also in the family of AP companies are Build A Mold, A.P. Tool and Gauge, Moldplas, Inc, Trimplas, LTD, Trimplas 2 and Trimplas 2000. For more media information, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities concerning AP Performance Racing, please contact Bobby Wooten at Motorsports Management Group at 704-236-9986 or by e-mail at email@example.com.