BEST QUALIFYING RUN OF YEAR SQUANDERED AFTER PIT ROAD ALTERCATION DAMAGES CAR June 17th, Kentucky Speedway. Tim Sauter and his McGill Motorsports team had a strong racecar Saturday evening for the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway, running in...
BEST QUALIFYING RUN OF YEAR SQUANDERED AFTER PIT ROAD ALTERCATION DAMAGES CAR
June 17th, Kentucky Speedway. Tim Sauter and his McGill Motorsports team had a strong racecar Saturday evening for the Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway, running in the top 10 for a long period of time and even running the top five for a few laps. Track position and a pit road altercation would not play into the Wisconsin drivers hand and the night ended with a 28th place finish behind surprise winner David Gilliland.
A season's best 16th place qualifying run was an indication that the McGill team had brought a good racecar to the Cincinnati area track. From the drop of the green flag Sauter proved the qualifying effort was no fluke as he maneuvered his National City sponsored car into the top 15 by lap #20. On lap 24 a spin by David Reutimann brought out a caution. Crew Chief Ricky Pearson called for Sauter to keep the #36 on the track moving him up to the 6th position, Tim moved into the top five when the red flag flew for a crash on the back straight involving Jason Leffler and Jeff Fuller. After the re-start Tim was able to stay in the top seven, racing with several Cup regulars until another caution on lap 49.
Tim would line-up 23rd following the caution, as five cars stayed out and the #36 would run the majority of the middle portions of the race around 20th place. Tim raced his way up to 15th through the green flag pit stops when the caution flew for a spin by Burney Lamar on lap 116. Only 12 cars were on the lead lap at this time.
Tim restarted 18th one lap down after the caution and settled-in racing with the ninth and tenth place cars, The #36 had moved to 17th when the caution flew again on lap 136. Since they could make it all the way to the end of the race, Tim brought his Chevy to the attention of the crew for one last set of tires.
Following the stop, the #36 would line-up 26th and moved steadily back toward the top 20. Tim was in 22nd on lap 183 when the caution flew for a spin by Chris Cook. The team chose to come in to make an adjustment to hopefully better the handling for the run to the checkers, but an altercation on pit road, damaged the right front fender and valance of the #36 causing the team to come back in to work on the fender again. With the body damage, the car was very loose over the last 15 laps and Sauter finished a somewhat disappointing 28th.
"This is the second week in a row that we had a much better car than our finishing position showed. It's the best handling car we have had since Las Vegas. I really thought we would give National City a better finish than 28th, without that deal on pit road, I think we would have finished about 20th," Sauter added. "Track position is so critical, when you get in a group of cars that are all running within a tenth or so, it's so difficult to pass. I want to thank National City again for coming on board with us, and we were proud to represent them this weekend."
Next Saturday will be a homecoming for Tim and his family as the Busch Series comes to the Sauter's home track; Milwaukee Mile. The week will be filled with activities including a "Team Sauter" autograph session with Jay, Tim and defending race winner Johnny Sauter all signing autographs together at the Lester Buildings tent in the midway on Saturday afternoon. Tim is also throwing out the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Detroit Tigers game on Wednesday afternoon.