A Happy Homecoming. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (June 25, 2002) - Anyone who has ever participated in a sporting event knows playing in front of a hometown crowd can be exhilarating. It lifts up the spirits and gives a sense of belonging to a bigger ...
A Happy Homecoming.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (June 25, 2002) - Anyone who has ever participated in a sporting event knows playing in front of a hometown crowd can be exhilarating. It lifts up the spirits and gives a sense of belonging to a bigger picture. When the NASCAR Busch Series hits The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile for Sunday's GNC Live Well 250, ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter will feel right at home, growing up just three hours from America's oldest racetrack.
"I can't wait to get back to Wisconsin", states the 24-year old Sauter. "I love this racetrack and the fact that I'll have a hometown crowd behind me. It always makes you feel good to know that you have people in the stands that are cheering for you."
The youngest Sauter brother will have some company when it comes to hometown favorites, though, as brothers Tim and Jay will also be participating in the race. To make things even more interesting, Sauter's car owner, Richard Childress, will field a car for the brothers' father, Jim, to make the weekend a true family affair. If all four make the 43-car field, it will be the first time four family members participate in a Busch Series event.
"Racing against my brothers has been fun this season," adds Sauter with a smile, "But racing against dad will be the real treat. He's been racing for a long time and knows how to get around most racetracks. We tested with him last week and it took him no time to get the feel back. This weekend should be a lot of fun for everyone."
The state of Wisconsin will definitely have plenty to cheer about when the Sauter's hit the racetrack Saturday afternoon for qualifying. The rookie of the bunch hopes to become the master and take home his first checkered flag in front of the hometown crowd.
* Sauter and Team ACDelco took time to test at The Milwaukee Mile last Monday and Tuesday in preparation for Sunday's matinee. The only other time Sauter had been on the one-mile oval was in an American Speedway Association (ASA) event in 2000 where he sat on the pole.
* Team ACDelco will take chassis No. 014 to Milwaukee, the same one they ran in Kentucky and Nashville, T.N. the last two race weekends. It is also the same car they tested with last week and has a rebuilt motor after it blew in the waning laps at Kentucky.
* Start time for Sunday's GNC Live Well 250 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 250-lap event on FX starts at 2:30 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN starting at 2:15 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
ACDelco driver Johnny Sauter on The Milwaukee Mile
What kind of racetrack is The Milwaukee Mile?
"Milwaukee hosts the kind of short-track racing that I was used to on the ASA circuit last year. It's flat and very smooth. It's nice to have raced there before because I have some idea what to except. I also can get a better feel of how I want the car."
How was the test?
"The test was fun because not only were Jay and I there, but my dad was there too. We were all close on the stopwatch, which was pretty cool. My car was fast and consistent on long runs. We made a ton of them so I could get the car where I wanted it in race set-up. We made a couple of qualifying runs, and were running about times that would put us in the top-10. I'm optimistic about going back."
Are you ready to head home?
"I can't wait to go home. It's hard with the season we have because we really only get a few days during Christmas and summer to spend time with family. We are about halfway through the season right now, so I thought it works out nice to be able to go home. I'm spending the whole week in Wisconsin leading up to the race. It will be relaxing."
ACDelco crew chief Rick Viers on The Milwaukee Mile
How much will the test help going into Sunday's race?
"The test in Milwaukee went really well. Johnny got to spend some time on the racetrack and also visit with his father. What we really wanted to do when we got there was get Johnny comfortable out on the racetrack. We spent most of the time working on the car in race mode and made a couple of qualifying runs at the end. Milwaukee is a great racetrack with a lot of tradition. I look forward to going there every year."