ODESSA, Mo. (June 16, 2001) -- Lightening-quick Johnny Sauter proved once again that he is indeed the hottest driver on the American Speed Association ACDelco Series tour, picking up his third consecutive win and fourth in the last five races in...
ODESSA, Mo. (June 16, 2001) -- Lightening-quick Johnny Sauter proved once again that he is indeed the hottest driver on the American Speed Association ACDelco Series tour, picking up his third consecutive win and fourth in the last five races in the 2001 se ason. Sauter survived stormy skies and a hard-charging hometown driver en route to his victory in the ASARacing.com 300 at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo.
Sauter took the lead after an intense battle with local favorite and former regular ASA competitor, Rick Beebe. Beebe held the lead for 44 laps much to the excitement of the packed house before light contact with the wall and a lapped car allowed Sauter to take the lead for the first time on lap 244, a lead he would not relinquish.
"This is unbelievable," said Sauter. "The car was stuck in fourth gear, it is a miracle I was able to get it out of third. I knew Rick's (Beebe) tires were going to wear out, but (Russ) Tuttle was running him ragged. He (Beebe) scrapped the right side on t he outside wall and lost momentum. It was all I needed."
A caution late in the event for the stormy skies and a brief rain shower allowed Beebe and the rest of the lead pack, including points leader Butch Miller, to catch up and pressure Sauter over the final 20 laps.
"I had an excellent car and my crew did an excellent job," said Beebe, who was making his second ASA start in 2001, both in backup cars to Scott Hansen. "We made a good call by not pitting with 100 laps remaining. We are not racing for points, I was here to win."
Sauter, earning $16,880 for the win, continues to set his torrid pace en route to breaking several ASA rookie records. His fourth win is the most for any ASA rookie in the 34-year history of the series, topping previous marks held by Kevin Cywinski and Der rick Gilchrist.
Sauter's closest competitors in the chase for the 2001 Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year award experienced problems, with Mike Cope getting involved in an early accident and Chris Wimmer falling out with clutch problems.
Joey Clanton finished third, with ever-consistent Gary St. Amant and Miller rounding out the top five. Pole sitter Robbie Pyle, Ryan Zeck, Mike Eddy, Scott Hansen and Tim Taylor rounded out the top-10 finishers. Local driver Billy Deckman, of Kansas City, finished 11th.
The series returns to action in two weeks, invading Northern Ohio for the Glass City 300 at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio. Action for the Sunday, July 1 event is set to begin at 1 p.m. (local). ###