Wreck ruins day for Sauter, AP Performance Chevy at IRP. CLERMONT, IN (August 3, 2002) - Tim Sauter lost any chance of a top finish when he was involved in a three car pileup in the early stages of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at ...
Wreck ruins day for Sauter, AP Performance Chevy at IRP.
CLERMONT, IN (August 3, 2002) - Tim Sauter lost any chance of a top finish when he was involved in a three car pileup in the early stages of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Saturday.
"This is tough," said Sauter, whose No. 19 AP Performance Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was credited with a 33rd-place finish. "We tested here and brought a new car. I have looked forward to this race for a long time because it my kind of track. We had way to good a car to be caught up in something stupid like this."
It was obvious that Sauter had one of the cars to beat qualifying eighth with a lap of 22.814 seconds (108.249 miles per hour) on the .686-mile IRP oval. In the early stages of the event, Sauter hung tough with the leaders moving into the sixth spot by Lap 25. Sauter then lost considerable track position when his No. 19 Chevy was blocked in its pit stall during a caution flag stop at Lap 65. When the race went back to green, Sauter restarted 18th on the tough to pass flat IRP track.
Now in heavy traffic, Sauter had nowhere to go when Jay Sauter and Ashton Lewis, Jr. tangled entering Turn 1 on Lap 78. The trio lost control and came to rest by the outside retaining wall causing extensive damage to all three cars.
"I really didn't know Lewis was out there until it was way too late," explained Sauter. "I thought Jay had a tire going down. We went into the turn and I got into the right rear corner of Jay and turned him up into Lewis. It sucked me right in at the same time."
Sauter's AP Performance Racing crew sprung into action when the No. 19 was pulled behind the wall rebuilding much of the car's suspension. That allowed Sauter to return to the track on Lap 165 in the 36th position. From there, Sauter soldiered on finishing 33rd at the drop of the checkered flag. The wreck not only spoiled Sauter's efforts to win the Kroger 200, but it also dropped him two spots to 14th in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series championship chase.
"I am proud of the team," said Sauter. "They did a great job and thrashed on the car so we did not have to take a DNF. We know we had a top car here today, we just did not get to show it."
Sauter and the AP Performance Racing Team travel directly from IRP to Michigan International Speedway to test on Monday and Tuesday. Following that, the team will have a well-deserved weekend off before returning to action in the Cabela's 250 at MIS. Meanwhile, Sauter will use the time off to travel home to Wisconsin and watch his son Travis race.
The Cabela's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, August 17. The event will telecast live on TNT and broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.
For more information on Tim Sauter and AP Performance Racing Team, please visit www.timsauter.com.