The Milwaukee Mile is as Important as Daytona To Wisconsin Drivers PENDLETON, Ind. (August 25, 2004) - The pressure is always more intense when one races in front of a home crowd, but to the ASA National Tour drivers hailing from Wisconsin, The...
The Milwaukee Mile is as Important as Daytona To Wisconsin Drivers
PENDLETON, Ind. (August 25, 2004) - The pressure is always more intense when one races in front of a home crowd, but to the ASA National Tour drivers hailing from Wisconsin, The Milwaukee Mile is their version of Daytona. To win on this track would be just as important to them.
"It's very important and satisfying for me to race here at Milwaukee," Tim Sauter said. "For my family, racing here is like racing in the Daytona 500. It's always special to get to race on The 'Mile. This is a tough racetrack; your car has to be right to be fast here."
Sauter, the 1999 ASA National Tour champion, is from nearby Necedah, Wis. The primary sponsor of his No. 9 Ford Taurus is Lester Buildings which is also the title sponsor of the 200-mile race, placing even more pressure on the shoulders of the 39-year old driver.
"We're working on consistency right now," Sauter said. "We do have one win (at Madison International Speedway on July 17), but we're not quite as good as I want to be. We're gaining on it little by little and moving up in the points. The big picture is to get a top five (in points) and maybe win a championship." Sauter is currently third in driver points, 159 behind leader Kevin Cywinski.
Sauter has five ASA starts at The Milwaukee Mile, with a best finish of fourth in the 1999 contest. He was the polesitter the year before at this one-mile track, and claims that it is a challenge to find the correct setup on the cars.
"This is kind of a weird racetrack," Satuer claims. "It's a tough place. The chassis has got to be right to be fast here. This racetrack always gets tight from the center off; in other words the front end will push out. It doesn't matter if it is night or day."
Kevin Cywinski, a two-time ASA National Tour champion (1997, '03), agrees that The Milwaukee Mile is one of the most challenging on the schedule for setting up a car.
"You can't compare (Milwaukee) to any of the racetracks that we go to on the schedule," Cywinski explained. "You use a lot more brake because of how flat the track is. You have to get the car to turn through the center of the corner real well, which is another short track characteristic. It is definitely more like a short track than the speedways we'll see later this year where you will run wide open."
From Wausau, Wis., Cywinski also claims The 'Mile as a home track and looks for a good run this weekend. He is the last driver to win from the pole, a feat he accomplished in 1996.
"You always want to do well in front of your hometown fans," Cywinski said. "These hometown races carry a little added pressure, too, because you want to look good in front of people that you've known and grew up around all your life and the ones that supported you and have helped you get where you are at. We need to run good there for our own self-gratification."
Todd Kluever, from Marshall, Wis., will be running both the ASA National Tour as well as the 50-lap MARS race.
"I'm really excited to get back (on this track)," Kluever said. "We raced here in 2001 with the MARS cars and it will be neat to get back to a series that I am a past champion in. But it will be a busy day." Kluever won the 2001MARS championship.
"It's really important," Kluever said of having a good run in his home state. "This race and Madison were the two races that I looked forward to the most all year. My family and my friends can all travel to Milwaukee to watch and be there in person. It's just big. I'll have a lot of fans here and you always want to do well in front of your hometown."
The Lester Buildings 200 takes the green flag at 3 p.m. CDT. Tickets are still available, and start at just $5 via an online special at www.milwaukeemile.com. The best seat in the house costs just $25 and can be purchased by calling (414) 453-8277.
The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series, and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
- www.asaracing.com -