Series welcomes former champ back

PENDLETON, Ind. (January 28, 2004) -- One of the prodigal sons is returning home where he belongs. Tim Sauter, the 1999 American Speed Association National Champion, will return to the series full-time in 2004, teaming with sponsor Lester...

PENDLETON, Ind. (January 28, 2004) -- One of the prodigal sons is returning home where he belongs. Tim Sauter, the 1999 American Speed Association National Champion, will return to the series full-time in 2004, teaming with sponsor Lester Buildings, in search for the 2004 ASA National Championship. Sauter will utilize Don Fanetti-owned Fords.

"I'm pretty excited about everything," said Sauter, who has six ASA career wins. "I've always loved racing with ASA and when Lester Buildings showed some interest, I jumped on the opportunity. This series has been very good to our family over the years and I think I can add to that legacy even more, especially with a quality company like Lester Buildings.

"An ASA deal has always been in the back of my mind so I was really excited when I found out Lester was interested in exploring these opportunities. This is a place where I want to be and that I see growing in the future. I like the short track stuff. This is what we all grew up around through the years."

The Sauter family has written several pages of the ASA history books themselves. Both Tim and younger brother Johnny are former ASA champions. In all, four of the Sauters have amassed 24 wins in the series; that includes victories by Tim's father, Jim, and older brother Jay as well.

Included in the sponsorship with Lester Buildings, one of the largest manufacturers of engineered buildings in the United States, is a touring show car program, a merchandise program, a hospitality program and numerous personal appearances by Sauter and other dignitaries.

"Stock car racing is one of the largest spectator sports in the world and ASA is perhaps the fastest growing of those," said Tom Borgman, Lester's Marketing Manager. "The critical mass reach and touch points into our various markets, not to mention the intense fan loyalty to sponsor products which ASA provides is unprecedented for a company of our type. Having a past champion, one particularly named Sauter, come back to ASA is a huge bonus for the circuit and, of course, for Lester. This made our decision even easier."

Lester's building systems cover a broad range of needs - from standard simple pole barns to custom, one-of-a-kind commercial structures and everything in between. This includes fully lined and functional race shops for the likes of Tim Sauter. Nearly 120,000 Lester buildings dot the American landscape today.

"Beyond the growing racing community, the millions of people who attend ASA races and watch them on SPEED Channel tend to be active, mobile types who have boats, ATV's, snowmobiles, hobby cars, and the like - and have a need for storage and work space," added Borgman.

Sauter last raced with ASA full-time in 2000, driving for Canadian businessman Alec Pinsonneault. Since then, Sauter has been competing off and on in the NASCAR Busch Series, where he finished top-15 in points in 2002. Sauter raced in one ASA event in 2003; he finished second to his brother Johnny at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

"I think the competition level has picked up a bit. The guys behind the wheel and on the crews have gotten a little sharper. I feel that I'm going to be behind the eight ball after being away from the series for a couple of years, but it won't take long to get back in the swing of things. I'm going to have some pretty good guys behind me."

The ASA National Tour begins its 37th season of competition on Saturday, March 27 at the .75-mile oval of USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. The 200-lap event will be televised on SPEED Channel.

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 and ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.

- www.asaracing.com -

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Series Stock car
Drivers Tim Sauter