Moving on to The Monster Mile. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 29, 2002) - Last weekend in Concord, N.C., team owner Richard Childress wanted to make sure Johnny Sauter, driver of his No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, hadn't suffered any internal ...
Moving on to The Monster Mile.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 29, 2002) - Last weekend in Concord, N.C., team owner Richard Childress wanted to make sure Johnny Sauter, driver of his No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo, hadn't suffered any internal injuries from his two wrecks at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and (Fontana) California Speedway. With everything looking good, he's put the 2002 Rookie candidate back where he belongs and is ready to move on to Dover (Del.) Downs International Speedway.
"It is in our best interest to make sure our driver's are healthy throughout the season," states Childress. "Johnny's got a long career ahead of him, and taking the weekend off was good for him. We are glad he's feels okay, and are anxious to get him back in the car at Dover."
Mastering The Monster Mile is definitely a daunting task. The track is ferociously fast, and drivers can get swept away by the speed and banking in the turns. Sauter, though, is looking forward to it.
"I can't wait to get back in the car," says Sauter. "Watching it go around the racetrack was rough last Saturday, but I realize it was done in my best interest. Jay did a great job for me and I'm grateful for that. Now I'm ready to strap back in and head to Dover to give it my all."
The time off definitely gave Sauter a chance to rekindle his fiery drive and spirit. He compares Dover to a big Bristol (T.N.) Motor Speedway, a track he liked racing on. "I really enjoyed Bristol even though I didn't finish very well," adds Sauter. "It was a lot of fun to be banged up, yet still be able to run lap times as fast as the leaders. I'm anticipating a good race this weekend. We need it."
Qualifying for Saturday's MBNA Platinum 200 gets underway at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Friday. Watch Team ACDelco attempt to put the red, white and blue machine on the pole again this season.
* The No. 2 ACDelco Racing team is hoping for a repeat of two years ago this Saturday. At that time, the No. 2 team came to Dover for the first time, with no experience, and left with their first pole position and a sixth place finish.
* Team ACDelco will take chassis No. 022 to Dover this weekend, the same one they ran last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This car has given the team two top-10 finishes (Concord and Las Vegas, N.V.), and they hope to go for another one on Saturday.
* Start time for Saturday's MBNA Platinum 200 is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 200-lap event on FX starts at 12:30 p.m. with radio coverage on MRN starting at 12:15 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on Dover Downs International Speedway
First of all, how are you feeling?
"I feel fine, and I'm ready to go racing again. It was nice to take a week off, but I missed being in the car. That's what I live for and I don't want to do anything else. I know, being a rookie, it's going to take some time to get used to these racetracks. I just need to stay focused. If we can continue to work together as a team, I am confident we'll start clicking again soon."
What kind of rumors have you heard about The Monster Mile?
"Everyone says it's a lot like Bristol, but bigger. It's a high-banked, fast-paced concrete track that actually sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I've been playing it a lot on my computer trying to get adjusted to it before we head up."
Give us your thoughts about racing on concrete.
"I like the concrete tracks I've been on so far this season. We raced well at Bristol, even though I must've been caught up in four different wrecks. And we ran consistently most of the day in Nashville, TN., so I was happy with our performance there. They say this place actually has some grip, even more so than Bristol, and that should help us."
ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on Dover Downs International Speedway
What concerns you the most about Dover Downs?
"Dover can be a tough racetrack for any team. Its concrete surface makes it difficult to figure out wear on the tires, and the banking can create some tremendous speeds. Since we haven't had any time to test there, we'll start with the notes from the No. 2 car in the past and see how things go. We saw how well Johnny ran at Bristol, and this track is similar to that. Hopefully we can have a good showing."