Homecomings galore at Milwaukee, led by defending race winner Johnny Sauter DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2006) -- Perhaps there is no track on the NASCAR Busch Series that is considered a true "home" venue more than the historic Milwaukee ...
Homecomings galore at Milwaukee, led by defending race winner Johnny Sauter
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2006) -- Perhaps there is no track on the NASCAR Busch Series that is considered a true "home" venue more than the historic Milwaukee Mile.
There's Lowe's Motor Speedway of course, but it is more of a "relocation" facility for drivers and teams rather than an actual home track.
There are six drivers from Wisconsin -- five of them NASCAR Busch Series regulars -- who are entered in Saturday night's race, including Necedah's Johnny Sauter (No. 00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet), who won from the Busch Pole last year.
He'll be competing against his brothers -- Tim (No. 36 Lester Buildings Chevrolet) and Jay (No. 01 Western Union Chevrolet). Even their sister, Angela (Sauter) Dziewior, will get into the act, singing the National Anthem prior to the start of the race.
"I'm excited to go back home, but there is a certain amount of pressure that comes along with it," Johnny Sauter said. "It's fun to race in front of your family and friends, but you want to put on a good show for them. Last year was like a dream come true. To come to your home state, sit on the pole and win the race -- that was cool.
"Winning a NASCAR Busch Series race at The Milwaukee Mile was definitely one of the highlights of my career, but again, it puts that much more pressure on you to repeat.
"We've been very consistent with top 10 and top-15 finishes, but we know we're capable of winning. We need to get our program to the level where we're contending for the win each week and I definitely feel like Milwaukee could be the turning point to the season for us."
Other favorite sons include Eau Claire's Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet), who along with Johnny Sauter (ninth) is ranked in the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 in points -- Menard is eighth. Raybestos Rookie Todd Kluever (No. 06 3M Ford) who is from Sun Prairie and Scott Wimmer (No. 66 YardMan Chevrolet), a native of Wausau and taking a break from his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series duties at Infineon Raceway to run closer to home, are also in the mix.
The Milwaukee Mile has also been a track that has favored another group of "home" drivers -- NASCAR Busch Series regulars. In 14 of the previous 15 races at the 1-mile track, a NASCAR Busch Series regular driver has won the event. Dale Jarrett is the only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regular to capture a win at Milwaukee, having done so in 1995.
The track is also a magnet for series champions. Seven drivers won at Milwaukee in their championship season -- Sam Ard (1984), Jack Ingram (1985), Steve Grissom (1993), Randy LaJoie (1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998) Jeff Green (2000) and Greg Biffle (2002). And three others -- David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford -- 1994), Jeff Green and Kevin Harvick (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet -- 2001) won the Busch Pole at the track in their title years.