BUSCH: Dover II: Johnny Sauter preview

Dover Redemption HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 16, 2002) - ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter did not enjoy his first trip to Dover (Del.) International Speedway. After struggling to make the field on time because of a brush with the turn four wall...

Dover Redemption

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 16, 2002) - ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter did not enjoy his first trip to Dover (Del.) International Speedway. After struggling to make the field on time because of a brush with the turn four wall in the first practice, he didn't get much of a chance to race because of a wreck in the first 50 laps. As he head's back, redemption is on his mind. What a better way to do that than with a solid run at the high-banked, concrete oval.

"My first experience at Dover definitely could've been better," states Sauter. "We got spun out before the first pit stop and I really didn't get much time on the track. But things happen and you just have to live with it. I certainly didn't want to get taken out early, and I hope it won't happen again. The best way to do that is to qualify up front, run good, and have a little bit of luck."

Conquering the "Monster Mile" will not be easy, but Sauter knows that he is capable of doing it. It takes a combination of a fast racecar and a hard-working team, two assets that he has behind him with Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc.

"We are definitely capable of winning this race," adds the 24-year old rookie. "We've been competitive at racetracks similar to it and I like the way it's laid out. We need to forget about what happened last time, and concentrate on putting a good racecar together. If we can do that, and I know this team can, we'll be able to compete for the win."

If Team ACDelco can put the blue and white racing machine in a good position during qualifying Friday afternoon, redemption could be in the works for one driver and team that know just how tough the one-mile monster can be.

* Team ACDelco crewmembers Matt Kreuter (Rear Tire Carrier) and Tim Ladyga (Rear Tire Changer) will continue to pull double-duty of their own in Dover. Since the Winston Cup race in Indianapolis, Ind., in August, they've been helping out RCR's No. 30 Winston Cup team on rear tires. This will continue throughout the rest of the 2002 season.

* The No. 2 ACDelco Racing team will take chassis No. 022 to compete at Dover, the same one that was involved in the early accident in the spring. This chassis, which was previously run in Las Vegas, N.V., and Concord, N.C., earlier in the year, has not seen action since the June event.

* Start time for Saturday's MBNA All-American Heroes 200 is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 200-lap event on TNT starts at 1:00 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN beginning at 12:30 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on Dover International Speedway

Talk about your first experience at Dover.
"Let's just say it was a learning experience. We didn't qualify so well because I hit the wall in the first practice and it limited me from going out and making some mock qualifying runs. We ran well in happy hour, then got wrecked in the first 50 laps. I feel like I adjusted to the racetrack pretty quickly. I just never got a real chance to race because we got taken out so early."

How was the racetrack?
"I think Dover is a lot of fun. With it's high banking you can gain some serious speeds and it makes for some exciting racing. It reminds me a lot of Bristol, where I always have a lot of fun. I'm excited to go back to Dover and have a good showing."

What has been the toughest part of your rookie season?
"Probably finishing races. That's been the toughest thing for me. Last year in the ASA, I think I finished all but a couple of races. This year, because of some unfortunate circumstances, I've been involved in some bad accidents that prevented us from doing that. It's not much fun."

ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on Dover International Speedway

What are your thoughts on the Monster Mile?
"Dover is a tough racetrack. Its concrete surface makes it difficult to figure out wear on the tires, and the banking can create some tremendous speeds. When we were there in the spring, we struggled in qualifying, but were consistent in race trim. We never got a chance to see how the car would run because of an early wreck. Hopefully we'll get to see that our second time back."


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Drivers Johnny Sauter