TOLEDO, Ohio. (July 1, 2001) - The hottest driver in stock car racing continues to be Wisconsin's Johnny Sauter, as the leading contender for the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year award captured his fifth victory of the year and fourth in a...
TOLEDO, Ohio. (July 1, 2001) - The hottest driver in stock car racing continues to be Wisconsin's Johnny Sauter, as the leading contender for the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year award captured his fifth victory of the year and fourth in a row at Sunday's Glass City 300 at Toledo Speedway. The four consecutive victories, which included wins at Concord Motorsport Park, Nashville Speedway USA and I-70 Speedway, ties the record for consecutive victories with former ASA Champions Bob Senneker (1991) and Butch Miller (1987).
"I guess I am in elite company now," said Sauter, whose team decided to stay out after a late caution. A Toledo Speedway record tying 16 cautions helped Sauter and his team keep the BFGoodrich Tires from wearing over long green flag runs, allowing him to make only one stop to change right side tires when all the other leaders except for Gary St. Amant made two.
"The number of cautions were a benefit to us because we didn't have to stop a second time for tires," said Sauter. "The car was perfect all day. I missed a shift on one restart (lap 262) and Gary (St. Amant) got a good run on me. I just ran a smooth line all day."
St. Amant challenged Sauter on a couple of occasions, but was unable to keep his Wynn's Chevrolet close after an extended green flag run. St. Amant trailed Sauter by .621 seconds at the checkers.
"The cautions helped us today," said St. Amant. "My car was a little better on cold tires while Johnny's was a little bit loose. I am pretty happy with this second place finish. We have done a lot of work the past two weeks and I think we caught up with him a little today."
Sauter, who stretched his point lead in the rookie standings over Mike Cope and Chris Wimmer, moved himself into third in the race for the 2001 ASA National Championship. Although he never stretched his lead out, Sauter led for 210 of the 300 laps on the half-mile oval. Sauter's Toledo victory also made him three-for-three at tracks where older brother Tim won at in the 2000 season.
Veteran Mike Garvey, who spun in the race's first caution and battled an ill-handling race car early in the afternoon, came home third. Toledo's Kenny Phillips had a career best fourth, while Robbie Pyle captured his first top five of the 2001 season.
A packed grandstand saw five drivers swap the lead on six occasions. In addition to Sauter; St. Amant, Butch Miller, Scott Hansen and Doug Mahlik all spent time pacing the field. Pole-sitter Miller ran up front early in the race, but broke a sway bar and finished 12th.
Miller keeps his point lead as the series heads to the longest track on the 2001 schedule, the one-mile Chicago Motor Speedway next Sunday, July 8, for the Chicago 200. The event will go green at Noon (local) and will be televised LIVE on TNN Sports.