PayDay maintains team lead with 7th-place finish MADISON, Ill. (May 10) - PayDay Racing driver Johnny Sauter added the team's ninth top-10 in 11 races this season by piloting his PayDay Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in Saturday's Charter...
PayDay maintains team lead with 7th-place finish
MADISON, Ill. (May 10) - PayDay Racing driver Johnny Sauter added the team's ninth top-10 in 11 races this season by piloting his PayDay Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in Saturday's Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway.
"It was a real good day for the PayDay car," Sauter said. "Those PayDay guys in the pits are awesome! There's nobody better out here. We had a little bad luck early in the race, but they gave me a car that could come from the back of the pack and lead some laps. It was a fun ride, and great finish for the PayDay team."
Sauter was impressive for most of the day and led 25 laps on his way to another impressive finish. Sauter, who hadn't been in the PayDay Chevrolet since Nashville, found himself in another familiar position on Saturday, a fuel mileage race.
Sauter qualified the PayDay Chevrolet in the 10th position for the event. After a short delay to the start of the race due to severe storms in the area, the green flag waived, and the second stand-alone Busch Series event of the year was under way. A lap 20 accident with Kevin Grubb forced Sauter into a spin in the middle of turn two. Sauter was able to maintain control of the car, keep it off the wall, and returned it to pit road for service. The PayDay team went to work and made major adjustments to the car, as Sauter returned to the racing surface in the 36th position, but still on the lead lap. The mishap would prove beneficial, as Sauter was able to alter his pit sequence, and would require only one more stop for the rest of the day.
For the next 50 laps, the fans at Gateway International Raceway were treated to the best show of the day. Sauter knifed his way through the field in an impressive and dominating fashion. By lap 65 he had advanced to the 12th position, and by lap 75 Sauter was in the lead. At lap 100, crew chief Butch Hylton called Sauter in for four tires and fuel, the last stop Sauter would need all day. Sauter returned to the track in the 17th position.
That's when the fun would begin for Hylton and the rest of the PayDay team. The next 75 laps of the event were spent calculating fuel mileage scenarios. The situation mirrored the Nashville event just a few weeks prior, when Sauter faced a fuel mileage situation and finished second.
The benefit of four more caution flags would enable Sauter to make it the rest of the way on fuel, a total of 92 laps. Sauter would then work his way through the pack to the fifth position. Sauter faced an ill-handling car during the final 20 laps of the event and would give up two positions by the end of the race.
In the end, Mike Bliss would give up a substantial lead to Scott Riggs as Bliss ran his machine out of fuel in the backstretch on the final lap. Riggs would earn his first win of the year, followed by David Green and Jason Keller.
The PayDay team remains the top-ranked unit, and Sauter moved up three positions from 10th to seventh in the driver rankings, 134 points behind David Green and 26 points behind RCR teammate Ron Hornaday.
Next week the Busch Series travels to Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania for a rare Sunday event, as the Winston Cup Series will race The Winston all-star event Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.
The race can be seen live on FX at 1 p.m. ET, and heard live on MRN radio at 1 p.m. ET.