Daytona Resurgence HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 2, 2002) - Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, can't wait to get down to Daytona Beach, Fla. Even though his experience on superspeedways has been minimal due ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 2, 2002) - Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, can't wait to get down to Daytona Beach, Fla. Even though his experience on superspeedways has been minimal due to circumstances beyond his control, he feels confident heading into Friday night's first NASCAR Busch Series summer showdown at Daytona International Speedway.
"I'm excited to get a chance to race at Daytona again," says Sauter. "I didn't have a lot of luck there the first time, hitting the wall early and creating some problems. I never got the chance to run up front and contend in the draft. I'm hoping to redeem myself with a good run this time so I can learn more about these tracks."
One area Sauter probably won't have to worry too much about this week is qualifying. In the two superspeedway events run this year, he started seventh (Daytona) and on the pole (Talladega, Ala.). He credits this to Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the fast cars the teams produce.
"Qualifying is very important at the superspeedways," Sauter adds. "I've been fortunate enough to have some great cars underneath me, and I give a lot of credit to Richard Childress and the whole RCR organization. They seem to have the right horsepower and aerodynamics combination to get around this place. That makes things a lot easier for me."
Sauter hopes to celebrate Independence Day with a bang by winning under the lights at the most famous racetrack on the circuit, rejuvenating Team ACDelco for the second half of the season. The event gets underway with qualifying on Wednesday, where Sauter looks to once again put himself in a prime starting spot for a superspeedway event.
* Johnny Rocket posted his best finish in four events last Sunday at The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile, finishing 12th after starting ninth. The top-15 finish propelled him two spots to 19th in the Busch Series driver points standings, just 108 markers outside the top-15.
* The No. 2 ACDelco Racing team will take a brand new blue and white racing machine to Daytona for this week's events. Chassis No. 030, fresh off a visit to the wind tunnel in June, brought back some of the best numbers the team has seen for a superspeedway car.
* Start time for Friday night's GNC Live Well/Stacker2 250 is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 100-lap event on FX starts at 7:00 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN starting at 7:15 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on Daytona International Speedway
How was your first visit to Daytona?
"My first race was pretty awesome. We just had a little mishap on the racetrack when we got bumped into the wall by the No. 18 car. That got me banged up and we had to come into the pits a number of times to work on the car. The guys did a great job keeping me on the lead lap, and I finished 17th. It was a good learning experience and will help me a lot this weekend."
What did you learn?
"Daytona was exciting for me because it was the first time I raced on a track that big. I started soaking up a lot of stuff when we first got there, and spent a lot of time just getting a feel for the place. I would've been able to learn a lot more if I didn't get into the wall. It was the same way at Talladega, when we were leading and got wrecked. I think I need some track time to get a better feel for the draft and how different situations will play out."
What will be your biggest challenge?
"The toughest thing for me will be staying focused. The racetrack is so big and I didn't get a chance the first time to run competitively, so I hope that I can do that. I'm also hoping that we can have a little luck on our side and can find somebody to draft with. I've found out those two things are extremely important at these places."
ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on Daytona International Speedway
How are you planning for the second race in Daytona?
"We're going to Daytona set-up just like we went there the first time. We'll compare it with what we had at Talladega, and see how things work out. We have a brand new car, which will be ready just in time. It's been to the wind tunnel, and all the numbers point to it being a contender."