DARLINGTON, SC (March 16, 2002) - Tim Sauter and his No. 19 AP Performance Racing Team salvaged respectable 22nd-place finish in the DarlingtonRaceway.com 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington Raceway Saturday. "We had a tough weekend,"...
DARLINGTON, SC (March 16, 2002) - Tim Sauter and his No. 19 AP Performance Racing Team salvaged respectable 22nd-place finish in the DarlingtonRaceway.com 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Darlington Raceway Saturday.
"We had a tough weekend," said Sauter afterward. "The team should be proud though. They adjusted and pitted the car well all day. We turned around our starting position and got a decent finish out of what could have been a disastrous weekend."
Sauter and the AP Performance team suffered a bitter disappointment in qualifying Friday after Sauter crashed hard in Turn 3 on his time trial lap. Bent but not broken, the team unloaded a fresh AP Performance Monte Carlo and made preparations to start of Saturday's 43-car event from the back of the pack.
At the drop of the green flag, Sauter pushed through the field to the 34th position by Lap 25. A caution period one circuit later allowed the AP team to make wholesale chassis changes in an effort to keep Sauter moving toward the front of the pack.
"We were wicked loose." Sauter radioed the team of his car's handling condition just after the stop. "Now it's a ton better."
The changes allowed Sauter to slowly gain positions rolling into the Top 25 by Lap 103. By the final pit stop of the day, Sauter's car was the best it had been all day and the No. 19 Chevrolet came under the checkered flag in the 22nd position. The 21-spot gain was better than any driver in the field.
"You did a great job guys," Sauter told the crew at the completion of the race. "This is the best I have been all day. We'll get them next week."
The 22nd-place finish gained Sauter two positions in the championship points chase. Sauter is now tied with Darlington race winner Jeff Burton for 22nd place, just 119 markers out of the Top 10.
"We turned a potentially awful weekend around into a respectable effort," said Sauter. "We gained a couple of spots in the points and I am happy with that..."
Sauter and his AP Performance Racing team will return to action Saturday, March 23 in the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Last year, Sauter posted a career-best ninth-place effort in the same event on the ultra-fast .533-mile Bristol oval. The drop of the green flag will be at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be telecast live on FX. PRN Radio will also broadcast the race worldwide.