Tim Sauter 36th at Nashville Hard Crash After Contact with Brother Ends Sauter's Day. April 15th, 2006, Nashville Superspeedway. Holidays are supposed to be a great time for family get togethers. But on the racetrack at 140 miles per hour is not...
Tim Sauter 36th at Nashville
Hard Crash After Contact with Brother Ends Sauter's Day.
April 15th, 2006, Nashville Superspeedway. Holidays are supposed to be a great time for family get togethers. But on the racetrack at 140 miles per hour is not the time or place. A day before Easter, Tim and Johnny Sauter did just that. The hard crash into the turn two wall at the Nashville Superspeedway ended a strong run by both brothers.
Starting his Lester Buildings sponsored Chevy 36th after qualifying in the heat of the day, Tim began to move his way up through the 43-car field. He had moved up four positions by lap 11 when he suddenly fell back several places. Tim radioed the crew he had lost the primary ignition box, but had switched to the secondary and everything seemed fine. He again began working his way forward, by Lap 20 he was up to 31st position. During a caution on lap 24 Tim brought the #36 to the attention of the Ricky Pearson led crew for four tires and a chassis adjustment to loosen-up the car in the center of the corners.
After the adjustments, Tim raced his way up to 27th position on the track, but as the tires began to wear the car began to get tight in the center of the corners and he lost a lap to the leaders just before the caution came out on lap #90. Tim fought hard to get back on the lead lap over the next 25 circuits as several cautions occurred, but just missed several times. On lap 121 Tim was racing Ron Hornaday to get into the "lucky dog" position when Kenny Wallace and Tim's younger brother Johnny came up on the two lapped cars. As Johnny cut to the inside, his car broke loose and slid into Tim's left rear quarter panel and the two spun up into the turn two fence collecting David Green and David Reutimann. The other three cars were able to continue with repairs but as bad luck would have it, Tim's day was done and the #36 car was now a wreck.
"I can't believe this," is all Tim said on the radio before exiting the car and being transported to the infield care center. "I just don't know what to say, we are having just terrible luck. Both here and Vegas we had cars good enough to race with these guys and both times we are caught in wrecks we didn't cause and both cars are now pieces of junk. Compared to the bigger Busch teams and the Cup teams, it's really hard for a car owners like John and Nancy McGill to replace racecars like this. We just don't have the resources to keep up with these bigger teams. I don't know what to say. For Ricky and the guys, for Lester Buildings, I just can't thank them enough, but tearing up cars like this is crazy, it's just crazy."
Kevin Harvick won the Pepsi 300 but the crash left the #36 Chevy, which had qualified in the 36th position, 36th place in the finishing order, and left the McGill Motorsports team out of the top 30 in owner's points. "Johnny called me after the race and apologized. He took full responsibility for getting loose and sliding into me," Tim said Saturday evening. "I felt a lot better after he called. As hard as it might be, right now we have to forget about Nashville, pull together as a team and concentrate on Phoenix. We need to get this deal headed in the right direction, I have all the confidence in Ricky and the guys that we can turn our luck and get back running where we belong."