Mooresville, NC (October 5, 2001) - He simply can& ...
Mooresville, NC (October 5, 2001) - He simply can’t wait for the 32nd annual "Oktoberfest!" That’s right, Johnny Sauter says it’s a race he’s wanted to return to for a long time. This weekend he will get his wish when the ASA Champ returns to LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI to compete in the NASCAR Re/Max Challenge Series portion of the annual Short Track affair.
"LaCrosse has always been one of my favorite racetracks. In fact, I would venture to say it’s in my top-two category," says the 23-year-old. "To be back home and be able to race at‘ Oktoberfest’ is where I want to be this weekend. It’s such a big event and there’s a lot of tradition."
This will not be Sauter’s first attempt at victory at‘ Oktoberfest.’ "A couple of year’s ago (1999) I ran the‘ Fest’ and I had a good car, not good enough to win, but I finished in the top-5. It was the first time I had ever run a Re/Max race there," explains Sauter. "To be able to return to LaCrosse after the year we just had in ASA is awesome! And I think I’m in a car that’s ten times better than the car I ran last time there."
In fact, the car Sauter will be running has only competed three times this season. And in those three races, it has a win and two-second place finishes. The win came at a NASCAR Gatorade All Pro event in Myrtle Beach, SC. The winning driver was Johnny’s older brother Tim. Tim and Johnny know Richie Wauters has some of the best equipment in the business.
"Everything Richie does is top-notch; everybody back home knows that," says the native Wisconsinite. "He is originally from Green Bay and he has a reputation for building great racecars. I know this is an awesome piece and I can’t wait to run it."
Now the goal is to go out and win!
"I wouldn’t be going if I didn’t think we could win," laughs Sauter, who won a record ten ASA races this year. "The biggest thing is just staying out of trouble. I just want to win‘ Oktoberfest.’"
Yet, Sauter knows the competition is going to be stiff with some of the best Short Track racers in the country converging on LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway this weekend. Among those expected to compete are Scott Hansen, Brian Hoppe, Eddie Hoffman, Travis Kvapil, Nathan Hasleau and Steve Carlson.
"The toughest car to beat is going to be Carlson (Steve, Re/Max point leader), but don’t get me wrong, there’s going to be a lot of guys who are going to run well. I just hope we can beat them all."
Sauter comes off a very busy week. He won the ASA championship in style last Saturday night by winning the season finale at Indianapolis Raceway Park and then competed in his first ARCA event at Lowes Motor Speedway on Thursday night. "That was my first race on a big track like that. I have a lot to learn, but we did OK," says Sauter who finished 8th.
You’d think a guy who is racing this much would get burned out… not Johnny Sauter. "Who cares about how busy a guy is, as long as he’s racing."
The Re/Max Challenge Series "Oktoberfest 200" will be held this Sunday, October 7th at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI.