Mechanical gremlins get the best of Sauter in Nashville. NASHVILLE, TN (June 10, 2002) - A potentially stellar weekend for Tim Sauter went south with the engine in his No. 19 AP Performance Racing Chevy on Lap 6 of the 225-lap Inside Traxx 300...
Mechanical gremlins get the best of Sauter in Nashville.
NASHVILLE, TN (June 10, 2002) - A potentially stellar weekend for Tim Sauter went south with the engine in his No. 19 AP Performance Racing Chevy on Lap 6 of the 225-lap Inside Traxx 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday.
"That was a heartbreaker," said Sauter. "We had a Top 5 car and we needed a good finish. We haven't had an engine problem all year when a lot of teams we race with have. Our good mechanical luck was bound to end sometime. I just hate it because we didn't get to show what we had."
Sauter's third trip to Nashville Superspeedway started out on the right foot when he qualified seventh posting a blistering lap of 29.916 seconds (160.409 miles per hour). The starting position matched Sauter's career-best NBS qualifying effort.
Sauter's mechanical woes began just after taking the green flag when he radioed in that his engine was missing. Despite the problem, Sauter soldiered on until the caution flag flew on Lap 63 affording the Necedah, WI driver a chance to make an extended pit stop. Quick diagnostic work by his AP Performance Racing pit crew revealed a broken rocker arm.
Back on the racetrack and underpowered, Sauter fell in the running order to 22nd position as the engine vibration was grew progressively worse. In order to salvage the engine, Sauter brought the No. 19 Chevy to the garage are just past the 120-lap mark. There, the AP Team took off the valve covers and attended to the damaged valve train parts sending Sauter back to the track 30 laps later in order gain as many points as possible.
Sauter returned to the track in 35th position, pushing on to gain three spots to 32nd before the checkered flag fell. He earned $14,115 in prize money and fell one position to 13th in the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series championship standings.
"We played it smart," explained Sauter. "We picked up the positions we could and saved our equipment at the same time. The guys were thinking about the big picture and fighting just as hard in the garage as they would be if we were winning the race. That's what kind of team we have here and that's why we can come back strong next week at Kentucky."
Sauter and his No. 19 AP Performance Racing Team will next compete in the Kroger 300 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday June 8, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will telecast live on FX Television and broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.
For more information on Tim Sauter and AP Performance Racing, please team visit www.timsauter.com.