On a mission in Memphis. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 14, 2002) - ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter's mission should he choose to accept it - grab his second NASCAR Busch Series victory of the 2002 season at Memphis (Tenn.) Motosports Park.
On a mission in Memphis.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 14, 2002) - ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter's mission should he choose to accept it - grab his second NASCAR Busch Series victory of the 2002 season at Memphis (Tenn.) Motosports Park. His transportation - a 3,300 pound blue and white racing machine known as the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo. His equipment - a seven-man elite crew of Team ACDelco henchmen. His preparation - a test session early last week where the team accumulated precious information that helped prepare them for this important mission.
"We had a great test session," states the 24-year old automotive expert. "We spent a lot of time working on both race and qualifying set-ups. Right now, I feel more comfortable in race trim and definitely think we'll be set for the race. We just need to work on a good qualifying position. Once we get that taken care of, we'll be in great shape."
There are two key assignments that Sauter will look back on as he gets ready to embark on his mission in the birthplace of the Blues. Both were last year - the first was a win on the American Speed Association circuit, the second a NASCAR Busch Series event where he finished 13th.
"Memphis was good to me last year," adds Sauter. "The last time I was there with the ASA circuit I sat on the pole and won the race. It was unbelievable. Then, I got the chance to go back with RCR in the No. 21 car and was competitive before dropping out late. I definitely feel like this is a place where I can be competitive. That's why I'm looking forward to heading back."
The clock is counting down to the start of the mission for Sauter and his No. 2 ACDelco Racing team. Their first objective - secure themselves a good spot to start the race on Friday. From there, they can take command of their destiny - a win in Memphis and a mission complete.
* Sauter's second race in the No. 21 RCR Chevrolet Monte Carlo in 2001 was at the .75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park. After starting fifth on Owner Points, he worked his way to the front and led for 13 laps before a bad pit stop cost him precious spots and he wound up 13th.
* Team ACDelco will take chassis No. 006 to Memphis this weekend. This is the same racecar they took to the test last Monday and Tuesday. Primarily used as a back-up car, it was run at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (f) and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (s) this season.
* Start time for Saturday's Sam's Town 250 is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 250-lap event on TNT starts at 2:00 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN beginning at 1:30 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on Memphis Motorsports Park
How was your test session in Memphis?
"Everybody was very happy with our results from the test session last week. We virtually took the same set-up I ran in the No. 21 car last year and adjusted from there. I felt like the car was fast in race trim, but we still needed some work in qualifying mode. That's something I would imagine we'll work on when we get there on Friday."
Has the racetrack changed from last year?
"I don't think so. It's pretty much the same kind of racetrack as last year, which is what I was so successful running on last season with the ASA. Hopefully I can remember how well I ran last year in both those races and come away with a win."
What was your first experience at Memphis?
"The first time I was at Memphis was the year before last in the ASA Series. I didn't qualify so well and ended up getting wrecked halfway through. It wasn't a pretty experience. Last year though, was awesome. I sat on the pole and led almost the entire race before winning the thing."
ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on Memphis Motorsports Park
What did you learn from your test session?
"We knew going into the test that Johnny ran well there in the No. 21 car last year. What we did was took that same set-up and worked on making it better. Right now, we seem to be better in race trim than qualifying, but we're definitely fast compared with last year's numbers."