Gutsy Call Gives St. Amant Redemption in Tecumseh 300 Defending ASA National Champion Collects 17th Career Win SALEM, Indiana (July 21, 2001) -- Defending American Speed Association National Champion Gary St. Amant picked up his second win of...
Gutsy Call Gives St. Amant Redemption in Tecumseh 300
Defending ASA National Champion Collects 17th Career Win
SALEM, Indiana (July 21, 2001) -- Defending American Speed Association National Champion Gary St. Amant picked up his second win of the 2001 ACDelco Series season, winning the Tecumseh 300 at Salem Speedway. St. Amant's win was all but redemption for the ve teran, who felt as if he had victory snatched from him last weekend at Berlin. St. Amant stayed out during the final set of pitstops on lap 195 and held off a charging Johnny Sauter for his 17th career win.
"This is a payback for last week," said St. Amant. "It really wasn't a gamble to stay out. Early in the race I worked on saving the car and found a really good line through one and two. This win belongs to (crew chief) Bill McGowan, who is the king of Sale m Speedway."
The victory was the first of St. Amant's career at Salem Speedway. St. Amant has not been known over his ASA career as a high-banked driver, but the veteran was able to keep hotshot rookie Sauter out of the lead.
Sauter made a charge through the field after he was one of the several cars who came into pit on lap 194 after veteran Mike Miller hit the turn two wall. Sauter and defending Tecumseh 300 winner Scott Hansen battled with St. Amant over the final 20 laps, b ut neither could muster up enough steam to pass the former champion. Hansen was another of the four cars who stayed out during that last caution period.
"I was going to stay out anyway, but we got outfoxed by the fox," said Hansen. "My car got real tight in one and two, and real loose in three and four, which it never has before."
Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year candidate Mike Cope turned in yet another top performance of the 2001 season, finishing fourth, with defending ASA Rookie of the Year Joey Clanton coming home fifth.
Tecumseh Pole Winner Butch Miller finished 20th after dropping well off the pace in the first-third of the event. Miller was 47 laps down before he was able to return to the event. Tecumseh-sponsored driver Mike Garvey won the Tecumseh 300 Halfway Leader a ward, worth $1,500, after suffering a cut tire and coming home 13th.
Five different leaders swapped the lead on seven occasions, with the field being slowed for caution seven times. In addition to St. Amant, Miller, Clanton, Brian Ross and Garvey all spent time pacing the field.
Along with an extra $5,000 from Tecumseh, St. Amant picked up $26,830 for the victory. St. Amant still trails Sauter in the race for the 2001 ASA National Championship, heading into the 14th event of the season, the Texas Roadhouse 300, at Hawkeye Downs Sp eedway. The August 4th Texas Roadhouse 300 is set to go green at 8 p.m. (local) and will be telecast live on TNN.