BUSCH: Memphis: Johnny Sauter race report

Bump leaves Sauter with third-place finish MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Oct. 18) -- Bobby Hamilton Jr. bumped PayDay Racing driver Johnny Sauter with three laps to go, enabling Hamilton to pick up the win and Jason Keller to scoot by for second place. ...

Bump leaves Sauter with third-place finish

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Oct. 18) -- Bobby Hamilton Jr. bumped PayDay Racing driver Johnny Sauter with three laps to go, enabling Hamilton to pick up the win and Jason Keller to scoot by for second place. Sauter finished third.

Sauter's strong run was enough to boost the PayDay team's lead in the NASCAR Busch Series owner's standings to 197 points over the No. 5 team (Brian Vickers). Sauter led more than 60 of the 250 laps.

"We had a good car all weekend," Sauter said after the race. "Once we got out into the lead there towards the end, I was just trying to save my stuff. We got tight and lapped traffic was really tough to navigate. We got a little nudge, and here we are in third on the day. I really wanted win this race for the PayDay guys. They gave me a great car today, but it just didn't work out."

The PayDay Chevrolet was good from the beginning in Memphis. After a good practice session, Sauter was optimistic he could win his first pole of the year. On the second lap of his qualifying run, Sauter's car got loose exiting turn four and lost valuable time. Sauter started ninth in Saturday's event.

When the green flag waved at the start of the race, Sauter waited patiently for the pack to spread out. He told the crew that the car was handling just a little too tight in the center of the corners, but was good overall.

When the caution came out on lap 58, Sauter was in third. He came down pit road for his first round of service on the day. The PayDay team gave Sauter four fresh tires and a full tank fuel. Sauter returned to the racing surface in eighth place.

Sauter again picked his way through the field and made his way back to fourth before he pitted again on lap 164. After another round of service, Sauter returned to the track in fourth place and did not return to pit road for the rest of the day.

Sauter wasted no time charging to the front. By lap 179, he was battling for the lead with Ron Hornaday, his RCR teammate. The two battled side-by-side for the next two laps before Sauter took possession of the lead on lap 182.

Sauter drove away from the field until lap 225, when Hamilton caught Sauter while he battled lapped traffic. The pair battled throughout the next 25 laps.

Sauter's third-place effort maintained his position in the driver's points standings at ninth, but he is gaining on the leaders. Sauter is just two points behind Kasey Kahne (eighth) and 25 points behind Scott Wimmer (seventh).

Next week, the Busch Series travels to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Oct. 25 Aaron's 312. Harvick will drive the PayDay Chevrolet in that event.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Scott Wimmer , Brian Vickers