Third-Generation Sauter Carries Family Name to ASA Midwest Tour DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 28, 2007) -- The American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment has signed 24-year-old Travis Sauter of...
Third-Generation Sauter Carries Family Name to ASA Midwest Tour
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (March 28, 2007) -- The American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment has signed 24-year-old Travis Sauter of Necedah, WI as a Touring Star for the inaugural 2007 season.
Travis is the youngest racer in the legendary Sauter family. His grandfather, Jim, competed in 76 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races over 14 years and recorded four top-ten finishes. He is also well known for preparing the setups and testing IROC cars. Travis is the son of Tim Sauter, 1999 American Speed Association National Tour Champion. Tim has raced part-time in the NASCAR Busch Series over the past seven seasons and is driving the #07 Green Light Racing truck full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year. Tim has 10 siblings, including other NASCAR standouts Jay and Johnny Sauter. Jay is competing in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007 for Frank Cicci Racing and has 23 NBS top-ten finishes to his credit.
Johnny, only four years Travis's senior, was the 2001 American Speed Association National Tour Champion and is presently competing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in the #70 Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing with sponsor Yellow Transportation. Travis and Johnny started their careers the same way, competing in the Super Stock division at the (Wisconsin) Dells Raceway Park after high school graduation (Travis graduated Necedah High School in the class of 2000) and quickly advancing to Late Model racing. Johnny competed in the American Speed Association part-time three seasons before dominating the Series with the most wins, most money won in a season, Rookie of the Year honors, and the much coveted Championship. That same year Johnny broke into the NASCAR Busch Series entering six races for Richard Childress Racing, recording a top-five finish in his first event at Richmond. In 2002, Johnny made a full-time commitment to NASCAR Busch Series racing and picked up his first win at the 1.5 mile Chicagoland Speedway. Since then, Sauter went on to win a second race at Richmond (2003), and at The Milwaukee Mile (2005) and record 44 NBS top-ten finishes.
Needless to say, Travis has big shoes to fill, living up to the Sauter name and as a member of the elite Touring Stars program, handpicked by ASAMT administrators for the inaugural 2007 season. "While it's good to be recognized as a top driver, there's pressure to be on top of your game and high expectations to succeed," Travis commented.
While Travis has some of the best in the sport in his family line, he is learning a lot on his own. "I worked on my Dad's cars in the garage at home when his shop was in Wisconsin and helped out at the track when he ran ASA while I was in high school. He doesn't really help me out financially; I have to secure my own sponsorship. Coleman Racing Products owns the car I'm driving (#119 in the ASAMT) and without that I wouldn't have anything but I still have to get the sponsors on it and I'm always looking for Marketing Partners. My Dad shares his track experiences with me, like telling me what to watch for, but he's not a full-time coach. When I need advice I know he'll always tell me the truth," Travis explained.
Johnny had a similar attitude in getting help from his father, Jim. "My dad taught me to work hard for what I want, in racing and in life," Johnny explained, "I sold my street car to buy my first Late Model but after that first win I knew what it was all about. It's a lesson that has made me a better driver than if I would have been handed everything." (JohnnySauter.net)
Travis caught the attention of fans and fellow drivers in 2006 while competing full-time at the Madison International Speedway (WI) in the Madison Late Model division, the track's top tier. "I led the points at Madison until the last night when I got a flat tire and it cost me the Championship," Travis recalled. Bobby Wilberg went on to win the title with a six-point margin.
Sauter has primarily competed at the Dells Raceway Park and Madison International Speedway and is looking forward to traveling this year. "I'm excited about going to new tracks and having new competition. The weekly shows are often the same throughout the season and traveling gives the opportunity to show new talent. I've never run a traveling series full-time, but it looks really cool with all the promotion going on. It's a lot bigger than racing locally," he continued, "I'm really looking forward to the event at Dells Raceway Park (Tuesday June 12). I haven't raced there in a long time. It would also be neat if Steve (Einhaus, ASAMT VP) can get all the Sauters together at LaCrosse Speedway. (Tuesday July 3rd). I've never raced against any of my relatives yet, not even my Dad."
"I have watched the entire Sauter family race for as long as I can remember and I don't think there is another racing family out there with as much success as they have had. Travis deserves every bit of recognition he receives because he has done it all on his own without the help of any of his family members or major sponsors to pave his way. Not only is he the driver, he builds the cars from the ground up, gets them to the track, and acts as his own crew chief. That's an amazing feat in itself and the exact reason why someone will see this kid and scoop him up and away from us very soon," stated ASAMT VP Steve Einhaus.
On the off weeks from the ASA Midwest Tour, Travis would like to travel to some other venues and race in events at The Milwaukee Mile and Nashville's Music City Motorplex.
Off the asphalt, Travis and his wife Amber (married November 2006) reside in Sauk City, WI and he is employed as a Service Writer at Thomas Auto Clinic in Necedah. In the little free time he finds, Travis enjoys playing video games and watching the Milwaukee Brewers baseball games. "I hate winter, so anything in the summer is great," he laughed.
"I am grateful for the sponsorship Kwik Trip and Echo Outdoor Power Equipment are giving to the Tour," Travis said, "While I don't know too much about Echo yet, I spend a lot of money at Kwik Trip. It was pretty much all we had in Necedah and I live near one now so I know those stores really well. The package they put together for us at the informational meeting (March 17, Wisconsin Dells) has gone to good use around my house already!"