BUSCH: Madison: Raybestos Rookie pre-race notes

* Johnny Sauter took Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors in fine style in the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Sauter scored his first career win in the event, taking the checkered flag .420 second over Todd Bodine. The win came...

* Johnny Sauter took Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors in fine style in the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Sauter scored his first career win in the event, taking the checkered flag .420 second over Todd Bodine. The win came in his 23rd career Busch Series start and betters his previous career best finish (a third place effort earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March). Sauter joins leading Raybestos® Rookie Contender Scott Riggs as the only rookies to win a Busch Series race this season. For the season, Sauter has racked up two top-fives and three top-10s.

* Sauter led twice for 48 laps at Chicagoland Speedway (including the final 21) and becomes the 12th different winner in 19 races. He becomes the first of the Sauter brothers (Jay and Tim) to win a NASCAR Busch Series race. The Chicagoland Speedway event marked the fourth time this season Sauter has been Raybestos® Rookie of the Race.

* Sauter's win moves him into second place in the Raybestos® Rookie standings behind leader Scott Riggs. Sauter trails Riggs by 62 points (243-181) entering Saturday's Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway.

* Riggs had a tough day at Chicagoland Speedway. He was sidelined by an accident and was credited with a 30th place finish.

* Six Raybestos® Rookies started the race at Chicagoland Speedway and two were running at the finish: Sauter and Hmiel (23rd). In addition to Riggs, the cars of Kasey Kahne (25th) and Brian Vickers (31st) were also knocked out of the race due to accidents. Casey Mears dropped out with engine failure and finished 38th.

* Despite his misfortune, Riggs remains fourth in Busch Series points, 207 behind leader Greg Biffle. He is 57 behind third place Jack Sprague and 160 behind second place Jason Keller. Riggs holds a 90 point advantage over fifth place Scott Wimmer.

* Riggs was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Chicagoland, earning the second starting position in time trials, just .008 second behind pole winner Todd Bodine. Riggs has been top qualifying rookie in seven races this season. He was the only first year driver to start inside the top-10.

* Eight Raybestos® Rookies entered the Tropicana 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and seven made the race on their qualifying speed: Riggs, Mears (11th), Vickers (12th), Hmiel (18th), Sauter (20th), Earnhardt (24th) and Kahne (29th). Dan Pardus was involved in an accident during his qualifying lap and did not post a qualifying time. He did not qualify for the event.

* Riggs has led more miles than any other Raybestos® Rookie Contender. He has led 13 times in eight races (252 laps) for a total of 386.55 miles. The rest of the class: Sauter (125.12), Hmiel (67.87), and Mears (6.00).

* Three Raybestos® Rookies have won at least one pole position this season: Hmiel (2), Riggs (2), and Sauter (1).

* Entering the Charter Pipeline 250, four Raybestos® Rookies have started all 19 Busch Series races this season: Riggs, Hmiel, Mears, and Earnhardt.

* 2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Greg Biffle was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in last year's race at Gateway International Raceway. He finished fourth, completing all 200 laps of the race.

* Biffle's run highlighted a strong performance by the Raybestos® Rookie class at Gateway. Scott Wimmer had a good run, coming away with a 10th place finish on the lead lap. Jamie McMurray also had a good day, posting an 11th place finish. They were the only rookies to complete all 250 miles.

* Biffle was the only Raybestos® Rookie that led a lap at Gateway. He paced the field twice for 55 laps.

* Biffle took highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie honors in grand style, winning the pole for the event. It was his second pole of the 2002 season. No other rookie qualified in the top-10.

* Biffle, Wimmer, and McMurray were the only freshman drivers that were running at the finish of the race. Larry Foyt finished 32nd after he was sidelined by an accident.


DRIVER                  POINTS
Scott Riggs             243
Johnny Sauter           181
Shane Hmiel             179
Casey Mears             155
Kerry Earnhardt         154
Brian Vickers            71
Kasey Kahne              57
Dan Pardus               55


EVENT                           HIGHEST FINISHING ROOKIE
EAS/GNC Live Well 300           Shane Hmiel, fifth
1-866-RBCTerm.com 200           Scott Riggs, fourth
Sam's Town 300                  Johnny Sauter, third
DarlingtonRaceway.com 200       Johnny Sauter, 11th
Channellock 250                 Scott Riggs, ninth
O'Reilly 300                    Scott Riggs, fourth
Pepsi 300                       Scott Riggs, first
Aaron's 312                     Casey Mears, fifth
Auto Club 300                   Scott Riggs, first
Hardee's 250                    Brian Vickers, seventh
Busch 200                       Shane Hmiel, fourth
Stacker 2 200                   Scott Riggs, second
CARQUEST Auto Parts 300         Scott Riggs, third
MBNA 200                        Scott Riggs, 11th
Inside Traxx 300                Shane Hmiel, ninth
Kroger 300                      Scott Riggs, fourth
GNC Live Well 250               Shane Hmiel, sixth
Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250     Johnny Sauter, sixth
Tropicana Twister 300           Johnny Sauter, first


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Greg Biffle , Casey Mears , Larry Foyt , Jack Sprague , Jamie McMurray , Scott Riggs , Kerry Earnhardt , Shane Hmiel , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Scott Wimmer , Brian Vickers