Tim Sauter 21st at Talladega McGill Motorsports Returns to Top-30 in Owners Points. April 29th, Talladega Superspeedway. It was a race of cautions at the right time and cautions at the wrong time for Tim Sauter Saturday during the Aarons' 312 at...
Tim Sauter 21st at Talladega
McGill Motorsports Returns to Top-30 in Owners Points.
April 29th, Talladega Superspeedway. It was a race of cautions at the right time and cautions at the wrong time for Tim Sauter Saturday during the Aarons' 312 at Talladega. One caution helped Sauter catch the lead draft; another may have hurt his chance for a top finish. When the checkered flag flew, the Lester Buildings Chevy was in 21st position only 1.15 seconds behind race winner Martin Truex Jr.
After the race Sauter wondered if the conservative strategy they had planned had worked quite how the team had envisioned. "Usually we get "The Big One" here at Talladega, this year it never happened. Our strategy was to hang out at the back of the pack, avoid the wreck, then charge hard at the end. We didn't need that last caution with seven laps to go. We were positioned right where we wanted to be, the car was much stronger than we had showed all day. I was just about to make a push toward the front when the last caution came out on lap 110. I think it really cost us some positions."
"After the last caution, we only had a three-lap sprint to the checkers and I just wasn't able to get up where I wanted to be at the end. I think we could have easily finished in 15th place or better, we never got to show our hand. I worked with Michael (Waltrip) all day, and he knows how to get around these plate tracks. We hung out, stayed out of trouble, but he was able to get into better position on that sprint at the end," explained Sauter. "I'm happy with our finish, we passed five cars on the last lap and the car is in one piece for Daytona, but sitting here thinking, I should have jumped into the high lane a lap earlier when the 99 did."
The team's lucky break came on lap 100 when the caution flew for debris on the track. Sauter had just lost the lead draft after lifting to avoid Stephen Liecht's near wreck on lap 93. "The 90 got sideways right in front of me, hit the apron, then the grass, I thought he was going to come right back up the track. I didn't lift but for half a second to avoid him. He saved it, the track stayed green and there I was hung out of the draft. I was glad to see the caution on lap 100 because I knew we could race with those guys at the front," Sauter added.
The McGill Motorsports team is pleased with the finish, as the 36 has moved back into the top-30 in owners points, this guaranteeing a starting position for next weeks race. "Everyone did a good job today, we caught a break, and had one cost us, so I guess we came out even. John and I are pleased that we got our lock-in position back," said Nancy McGill after the race.
Next week Tim, crew chief Ricky Pearson and the McGill team are heading for a Friday night race under the lights at Richmond, VA where the team had a successful test last month, posting the some very impressive lap times near the end of the test. "I can't wait to get to Richmond, the car should be pretty good, we learned some things last month. I love racing at that track. I wish we had more tracks like Richmond, Memphis, and Gateway to run on. Lester Buildings will have a group of folks there to watch the race. It's real close to one of Lester's plants in Clear Brook, VA. I'm hoping we can give them a good finish."