Top 20 Start for Tim Sauter McGill Motorsports Starts 2006 Season on Positive Note. Tim Sauter and Crew Chief Ricky Pearson were all smiles after the season opening Hersheys Kissables 300 at Daytona International Speedway; a top 20 finish is...
Top 20 Start for Tim Sauter
McGill Motorsports Starts 2006 Season on Positive Note.
Tim Sauter and Crew Chief Ricky Pearson were all smiles after the season opening Hersheys Kissables 300 at Daytona International Speedway; a top 20 finish is just what the team was hoping for to start the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season.
The 2006 Speedweeks started on a positive note when Sauter piloted the Lester Buildings #36 to the 22nd starting position with a lap of 49.54 seconds. "That lap was over a half a second quicker than we ran here last year." the smiling crew chief said. "We really didn't have a very good test here back in January, but it gave us the information we needed to get back to work at the shop. I can't say how proud I am of these guys and the hard work they did to get this car competitive." Pearson added.
When the green flag fell, Necedah, WI veteran pushed hard to stay with the lead pack. In-fact, Tim recorded the 3rd fastest lap of the event when he turned a speed of 189.396 while running in the lead draft on lap 8. As the tires started to wear, the car started to get a little tight, so Sauter eased off and kept the McGill Motorsports Chevy out of trouble. The strategy paid off as Sauter just missed several wrecks during the event, the most noticeable on lap 50 when John Andretti and Paul Tracy wrecked in front of him, causing Sauter to dive hard to the apron damaging the front valance. After a long pit to check out the damage dropped the silver #36 to 28th place, Sauter worked his way toward the top twenty again.
When the caution fell on lap 74, the crew took extra time to repair the valance, which was now visibly cracked, and allowing air under the car, Sauter restarted in the 28th position. Later, when the caution fell on lap 90, Pearson instructed Sauter to stay on the track moving the Lester Buildings car up to the 4th position. Tim's time at the front would be short-lived as cars with new tires quickly moved to the front, Tim fought hard to stay in the lead draft, but it was apparent that the cars with the fresh tires were faster, so he gave up the 14th position for new rubber on a caution on lap 100. With 18 laps to go Tim sat in 27th position, and he knew it was time to go, racing his way to 20th position by lap 110.
The lead lap cars were all bunched up three wide with Tim in the mix with 4 laps to go, the #36 was in position for a top 20 finish. As the pack of 20 plus cars came out of turn 4 on the last lap, all heck broke loose and near a dozen cars began wrecking trying for a top finish. Through the smoke and debris, Sauter slid the silver #36 through the infield grass, crossing the start/finish line backwards in 19th place.
"This is just the finish we needed to start out 2006. Our goal today was to give Lester Buildings a top twenty finish; we did that, and brought the car home in one piece. Ricky called a great race, and I have to give a nod to spotter Tom Busch, he will benefit this team greatly!" Sauter said following the race. "I am so happy to be here at McGill Motorsports, today we showed we can run with the big teams. John and Nancy McGill are true professionals committed to grow this team, and this is a great way to start the season for them."
Tim Sauter, Ricky Pearson and crew will head west to California for the Stater Bros. 300 on February 25th. Prior to the event, Tim will travel to Willow Springs Raceway to attend Danny McKeever's Fastlane Driving School to prepare for the road race event in Mexico next month.
The McGill Motorsports Chevy Monte Carlo SS will run under the Lester Buildings banner for 25 of the 35 races on the 2006 Busch Series schedule.