BUSCH: Indy IRP: Johnny Sauter preview

Johnny Sauter / PayDay Racing Kroger 200 Pre-Race Notes TOTALLY NUTS ABOUT RACING - PayDay peanut caramel bar is in the midst of its first season as the primary sponsor of the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet. The No. 21 PayDay Chevy comes out of the...

Johnny Sauter / PayDay Racing Kroger 200 Pre-Race Notes

TOTALLY NUTS ABOUT RACING -

PayDay peanut caramel bar is in the midst of its first season as the primary sponsor of the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet. The No. 21 PayDay Chevy comes out of the Richard Childress Racing Busch Series stable. In addition to PayDay, a Hershey Foods Corp. brand, the No. 21 Chevy will also carry three other Hershey brands throughout the season: Zero, Whoppers and Whatchamacallit. PayDay Racing driver Kevin Harvick will compete in approximately 16 of the 34 Busch Series events this season. Fellow RCR driver Johnny Sauter will drive the PayDay Chevy in the 18 other events on the schedule.

TV PANEL GUEST -

Mac's Convenience Stores, a subsidiary of Alimentation Couche-Tard, can gas up you and your car. Alimentation Couche-Tard operates more than 2,400 convenience stores in North America under the Couche-Tard, Becker's, Dairy Mart, Mac's and Mike's Mart banners. The company is Canada's largest convenience store chain. Alimentation Couche-Tard, French for "food for those who go to bed late," sells gas at approximately 950 of its convenience stores.

SAUTER GAINING MOMENTUM -

The July 26 event at the Pikes Peak International Raceway was a hot one, with the air temperature soaring to 102 degrees at the start of the race. Some of the hottest action of the day came from the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet. Sauter drove the PayDay Chevrolet through the field on his way to his second top-five finish in four events. Sauter was on his way to achieving two more top-five finishes in the other two events in July, but his engine expired on both occasions.

SAUTER'S DOMINANT ASA PERFORMANCE AT IRP -

Sauter has been to IRP just twice in his racing career. He had a fourth-place effort in his Busch car in 2002. In an ASA race at IRP in 2001, Sauter started from the fourth position and wasted no time moving into the lead. Sauter led 191 of 200 laps en route to the victory that clinched his 2001 ASA Championship. IRP has quickly become one of Sauter's favorite places visit.

PAYDAY SHORT TRACK SUCCESS -

The PayDay Racing team has enjoyed substantial success at short tracks this season. In 12 events, the team has an average start of eighth. Its average finish of seventh is buoyed by two wins and six top-five finishes.

THE LONGEST DAY -

Saturday's event at IRP will be the longest day of the season for the Busch Series competitors. The day begins at 6:30 a.m. CDT when the team transporters enter the gates. Practice starts at noon, with qualifying following at 3:35 p.m. The teams will work late into the afternoon preparing the cars for the drop of the green flag at 8 p.m. By the time the teams board their flights home, their workday may have been 18 to 20 hours long.

JIM SAUTER MAKES STOP IN INDY -

Johnny's father, Jim Sauter, a stock car legend in his own right, will also compete in Indianapolis this weekend. Jim will be across town at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, attempting to qualify Dave Marcis's No. 71 entry for the Aug. 3 Brickyard 400. The elder Sauter has hundreds of laps around the famed oval in an IROC car, which he will drive again this weekend, as he serves as a test driver for the series to help ensure the cars are as similarly configured as possible.

RANKINGS -

After 21 events, the PayDay Racing team sits atop the team rankings, 100 points ahead of the No. 10 team, featuring driver Scott Riggs, and 102 points ahead of the third-place No. 37 team of David Green.

THE CAR -

This week crew chief Butch Hylton will load chassis No. 015 onto the PayDay transporter. No. 015 has most recently seen action at the New Hampshire International Speedway just two weeks ago. Kevin Harvick drove the car to a second-place finish after leading the first 152 laps of the event. This will be the second race of the season for No. 015, although Sauter drove it last season when it carried the No. 2 AC Delco colors.

JOHNNY SAUTER ON IRP -

"It's Saturday night racing at its best, and a whole lot of fun. It's probably the longest day of the season, but the fans are rewarded with an exciting race. If you stay smart and keep your fenders on your car, you'll have a shot at the end."

ON SHORT TRACK RACING -

"It's what I grew up doing, so, of course, I'm really comfortable racing short tracks, and I especially like racing at night, so I'm excited for IRP. We've come along way with our short track cars this season, so there's a lot to look forward to at IRP."

ON SAFETY ISSUES -

There's a lot of things that can always be improved. The problem is that you have to give up one thing to fix another. That's not always what's best for the drivers. I would like to see a traveling safety team that goes to all of the events."

BUTCH HYLTON ON THE ONE-DAY MARATHON -

"It's definitely tough. There's no garage, it's hot, and it's an all day deal. We'll see who's tough and who's not."

ON SAFETY ISSUES -

"There's good and bad for everything. I think a core group of safety workers is needed. They need to be familiar with cars in case of serious incidents. Then you have the fire issue, which will always be there. We used to mandate rear mounted fire extinguishers, so maybe we should go back to that."

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dave Marcis , Johnny Sauter , Jim Sauter
Teams Richard Childress Racing