Tim Sauter 25th at Fontana McGill Motorsports Driver Moves to 18th in NBS Points. February 25th, California Speedway. Running without sponsorship this weekend, Tim Sauter and McGill Motorsports finished 25th in the Stater Bros. 300 Saturday ...
Tim Sauter 25th at Fontana
McGill Motorsports Driver Moves to 18th in NBS Points.
February 25th, California Speedway. Running without sponsorship this weekend, Tim Sauter and McGill Motorsports finished 25th in the Stater Bros. 300 Saturday evening at the California Speedway. The top eleven finishers in the race were all Cup Series drivers, leaving the Busch regulars to fight it out for best in class this weekend. The 25th place finish is the best ever at California Speedway for the McGill team competing in only it's second full year in the Busch Series.
When the green flag fell, the Wisconsin veteran steadily moved forward from his 39th starting position. 8 laps into the race he had moved the silver Chevy up to 32nd spot. At the races one-third point on lap 50 Tim was riding on the lead lap in 33rd position.
At the midway point of the race during green flag pit stops the un-sponsored #36 climbed as high as 16th position. Once the pit stops cycled through Tim found himself one lap down, running the majority of the middle portion of the race in mid-twenty positions. "Once we figured out what we had, we settled in and got the best finish we could for John and Nancy McGill." Sauter explained. "Being an independent team, we just can't afford to tear up these cars. We have to establish ourselves in the points and as the team gets stronger we can race harder and push for top finishes."
California Speedway is known for its long green flag runs, and there were two of them this weekend. Tim was able to keep the McGill Motorsports car only one lap down by catching a yellow flag while entering pit road during the second long green flag run. Crew chief Ricky Pearson called for Tim to continue down pit road and stop on the next circuit, which kept the McGill Motorsports entry on the same lap. The team was assessed a penalty of starting at the tail of the longest line, but the move saved the #36 from going a second lap down.
At the end of 150 laps at the fast two-mile track Tim crossed the finish line in 25th position. The finish moves Tim, one of three Sauter brothers competing this year in the NASCAR Busch Series to 18th in NBS point standings.
"The Wegner motor was pretty good today, and I could get into the corners alright, but we were binding in the center of the corner just enough that I had to wait to get back into the gas. If I tried to get on the gas when I wanted, the car just slid the nose and pushed up the banking," Sauter said after the race. "The car was close, it just wasn't good enough to race with all those Cup guys. I tried the top groove a couple times, but it was worse up there. I would have loved to finish higher, but the points are more important to the team during these first five races."
The McGill Motorsports entry started 39th in the 43-car field. "When we unloaded on Friday for practice I felt we were going to be OK, but the tires fall off so fast here it's hard to tell if you're getting better or not," Sauter explained. "We didn't get enough time to practice in qualifying trim so it's hard to judge your times against the others. These cars get really loose when you tape them up, so we tried to be smart when we qualified, although the 40.85 it was a little slower than what we expected. We just missed the set-up by a little, but this place is so fast, you can't be off much and have a drivable car."
The McGill Motorsports Chevy Monte Carlo SS will run under the Lester Buildings banner for 24 of the remaining 33 races on the 2006 Busch Series schedule.