The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to wildly popular Iowa Speedway this week - a fan favorite, as well as a short track favorite of current points leader Johnny Sauter. The Rusty Wallace designed track offers 7/8 mile tri-oval racing with 12-13-14 degree compound banking in the turns and covers 600 acres of land - making it the most state of the art driver-designed facility in NASCAR....and right down the road from the farmlands of America.
FRIENDS OF KARL...CHEVY, THAT IS: Sauter proudly displays the banner of Karl Chevrolet, Iowa's largest Chevrolet dealership and the fourth largest dealership in the US, on the No. 13 at Iowa Speedway this weekend. On Thursday, July 14th, Sauter and teammate Dakoda Armstrong, who is debuting in Iowa, will be at the Ankeny Dealership signing autographs. The dealership is located at 1101 SE Oralabor Road in Ankeny, just outside of Des Moines from 5pm-8pm.
GOING TO THE FAIR: On Friday night, Sauter will have a busy evening in Iowa. He will travel from practice to the Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway to wave the green flag in a Dirt Truck Racing Association event on the semi-banked half-mile.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 13 team will utilize chassis No. 038 this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. This is chassis has driven home to top 7 finishes at Nashville and Charlotte already in 2011; as well as a pole appearance at Kentucky Speedway just last weekend.
PREVIOUS RACE HISTORY: Sauter finished a disappointing 24th after driving in the top 2 or leading much of the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Starting on the pole, he dominated throughout the race but encountered a broken rear axle on the last pit stop of the evening - rendering the truck behind the wall for the finish.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Johnny Sauter
How do you feel going into the race in Iowa?
"I'm fired up. We're fired up on the 13. After taking the pole in Kentucky and really having it as my race to take home, we had something heartbreaking and unavoidable happen. That's racing, but that just fires us up to prove to everybody that we can come out and win races. It just makes us prepare more. I'm looking forward to getting on the track, because I've done well here in the last two years. Finishing fifth two years ago, then second last year, I think we've gotten this track somewhat figured out. Now we go racing and see if luck will be on our side too."
What's the biggest challenge going into Iowa?
"Everybody likes to treat this track like an intermediate track. Don't get me wrong, this is one fast racetrack. After the heat gets in the tires and we start laying rubber on the track, as well as ARCA racing the same day, it's going to perform like a short track. So the guys that are going to do well here are the ones that don't mind being loose and don't mind really having to slip and slide like a short track. You don't want to take any fenders off, but you can bump around a little and get where you want."
Do you feel like you're returning to your roots by being closer to Wisconsin?
"I don't think it's really super close....we're still a few states away! But it is nice to be back in the Midwest where there is lots of space and everyone is super friendly. That's what I'm used to, and it gives a certain comfort level for sure. Every time I've been here, the people of Karl Chevrolet, Newton, Ankeny and Des Moines have been great to work with. It's just a track that really does a good job."
Are you looking forward to going to the dirt track at Iowa State Fairgrounds?
"It's great to support local dirt track racing. I was able to try my hand at it last year, actually driving the truck on the dirt track for Karl Chevrolet - and I think I got a good understanding of just how many towels you need to clean off your truck and yourself after the dirt experience! I'm looking forward to supporting the guys and girls out there on Friday night and meeting the fans. Stock car fans are universal in their passion for the sport."