BUSCH: Sparta: Tim Sauter race report

Lady luck holds Sauter back in Kentucky event. SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2002) - Tim Sauter found his toughest opponent to be Lady Luck as he battled his way to a 15th-place finish in the Kroger 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway this...

Lady luck holds Sauter back in Kentucky event.

SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2002) - Tim Sauter found his toughest opponent to be Lady Luck as he battled his way to a 15th-place finish in the Kroger 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway this weekend.

"We had a fifth-place car and 15th-place finish today," stated Sauter, driver of the No. 19 AP Performance Chevrolet. "I'm disappointed, not in our team, but with our luck. If we don't have that last caution, we have a Top-10 finish. We had a team meeting on Monday to help our focus stay on performance instead of worrying about other distractions. Well, we are focused and performing but our last two finishes have not shown it. The past two weeks the team gave me a Top-5 car. I kept out of trouble, but our finish proved to be out of our hands."

Sauter qualified 16th with a lap at 31.499 seconds (171.434 miles per hour) and at the drop of the green flag, it was evident he had one of the strongest cars on the racetrack. A solid call by crew chief Bobby Bakeeff to take two tires on the team's first pit stop pushed Sauter to fifth in the running order. That's when Lady Luck reared her head for the first time as Sauter radioed he had a cut tire during the ensuing caution laps forcing the AP Performance team to complete a four tire change before the race went back to green.

Now in 36th position, Sauter knifed through the field to the 11th position when a caution flew again on Lap 82. This time, Bakeeff made the call not to pit because of threatening weather and proved to be right as the skies opened up shortly afterward red-flagging the race on Lap 86 with Sauter in the fourth position.

Sauter restarted the race the following day in the 19th position after pitting under caution before the green flag fell. Sauter climbing back to the fourth position before pitting under green only to have his luck go sour again as the caution flag waved shortly afterward on Lap 174 putting him one-lap down to the leaders.

Sauter restarted 22nd with just a handful of laps remaining and managed to survive a wild slam bang ride to a 15th-place finish. The effort earned the Necedah. WI driver $21,860 in prize money and boosted him one position to 12th in the 2002 NBS championship standings.

"I am proud of this team for preparing me a car that was strong enough to be a top contender," said Sauter. "We have definitely improved lately and we are always strong on the intermediate tracks. We have seen what we are capable of and it is just unsatisfying when we don't capitalize on what we have."

Sauter will next compete at his home track, The Milwaukee (WI) Mile, in two weeks. There, the Sauter clan hopes to gang up on the field as his father, Jim, will join Tim and brothers, Johnny and Jay, in the GNC Live Well 250. The event will take the green flag Sunday June 23, at 1:30 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.

-appr-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tim Sauter