PENDLETON, Ind. (September 26, 2001) -- Former ASA National Champion and regular competitor Tim Sauter will return to the series for this coming weekend's tirerack.com 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. Sauter, who has six career...
PENDLETON, Ind. (September 26, 2001) -- Former ASA National Champion and regular competitor Tim Sauter will return to the series for this coming weekend's tirerack.com 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. Sauter, who has six career ASA wins, has made it known he is going to be there to compete for the victory, as well as help little brother Johnny lock up his first ASA National Championship. As a rookie, Johnny Sauter holds a 108 points lead in the standings heading into the last ASA event of the year. Tim Sauter will be using the car Johnny ran at Winchester Speedway last weekend.
"It should be interesting," said Tim Sauter. "I'm just going to be there in case these guys need help. I think it'll help John be more comfortable so that he doesn't have to worry about some things (on the racetrack). You know, certain situations come up and we may have to deal with them. We just want to make sure Johnny is safe and we've done everything we can as a team to win the championship.
"If Johnny's ok in the championship fight, then, well, yeah we'll fight for the win," says the middle of the three Sauter brothers to compete in ASA, including older brother Jay. "We're bringing in a complete separate second team, so we don't have all the over wall guys figured out and we're having to do a lot of work on the car that Johnny ran at Winchester last weekend."
The A.P. Plasman team and several other volunteers have been putting that car back together after last week's early race incident, while Tim has been working on putting together the AP Performance team Busch program for next year.
Once a racer though always a racer and this year has been a difficult one to swallow for Sauter. "It's hard to sit home and watch all these Winston Cup, Busch and ASA races and not be able to do it yourself. I haven't raced but twice since June 17th (when the Xpress Motorsports Busch team Tim was driving for was closed). I've been going through withdrawal."
A lot of people thought once his former Busch program folded, Tim would return to his old stomping grounds of ASA and that was almost the case. "I'll be honest, I wish I could have been racing all year. Alec (Pinnsoneault) and John came to me after the Busch deal folded up and said 'we still have that other ASA car, why don't you finish the year with that deal?' I declined at that point because I didn't want to interrupt this program (with brother Johnny) and the pace it was in. It was hard to sit back when I knew I had an opportunity to race."
Instead, Tim has been working long hours on AP's NASCAR Busch Series effort for next year. The team already has a shop just down the road from the ASA shop and within a couple of weeks they will be taking delivery of several cars. The plan is to compete in the final two BGN races of the season.
At hand right now though an ASA championship for the ASA team, which would of course be its second in three years. "Our first and utmost goal is to make sure Johnny wins this championship!"
The fact that his brother Johnny can win the ASA title comes as no surprise to Tim. "I knew he had the potential and Alec knew it too. A lot of people were doubters. I know when I announced it on the stage at the ASA banquet that a lot of people just blew it off and scoffed and said, "Oh big deal!" So, in a way, this is sweet for John, Alec and me. And without all the people that we have here it wouldn't be possible."