HOT LAPS, FAST TIMES IN 'HOTLANTA': Returning one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR Circuit - Atlanta Motor Speedway, Johnny Sauter finds himself once again at the top of the driver points in the Camping World Truck Series. It is the 10th week out of 17 that the veteran driver has led the points. Sauter has made two appearances in NCWTS at Atlanta, in 2009 and 2010- with his best start at ninth and finish at eighth in 2010. He hopes to improve on the last finish with the team's newest chassis - 39.
DUGGER PLAYS COOL COUNTRY DESPITE THE HEAT: The No. 13 team hosts Curb Recording artist for the weekend - Tim Dugger - both in the pits and on the decklid. Dugger will play the pre-race concerts at both the NCWTS and Cup races in Atlanta and is one of the most promising young Curb artists.
WISCONSIN ROOTS RUN DEEP: Sauter heads to Atlanta after a return to his hometown of Necedah, Wisconsin for the 4th Annual Summerfest Olden Days Car Show on August 27th, sponsored by Sauter Family Racing. The annual festival is hosted by a local school and draws race fans and local supporters from all over Wisconsin.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 13 team will utilize chassis No. 039 this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Built for the 2010 season, this chassis has dominated on performance - with a potential win at Texas Motor Speedway. Its most recent appearance was at Michigan Int'l Speedway, where Sauter was caught in a spin and hit the interior wall. The chassis got a refresh at the Sandusky, Ohio shop and is game-ready for Atlanta.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Sauter drove the No. 13 home to a podium finish after a wild ride at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 24th. He qualified 12th on the grid; then ran much of the race in the fifth to ninth position. With fifteen laps to go, Sauter's fuel maintenance strategy outlasted other teams, as well as driving past competitors to finish just behind winner Kevin Harvick. His second place finish preserved his points lead for the 10th week, by a narrow seven points over James Buescher.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Johnny Sauter
How do you feel going into the race at Atlanta?
"We're starting to bear down on some serious Fall competition, and I know the guys feel it in the shop. They are working really hard, and they busted their butts to get this chassis ready right after Bristol. We all know we can make a championship run here, we've just got to stay clean and make smart decisions all the way around from here on out."
What's the biggest challenge going into Atlanta?
"This is probably the fastest track we've got on the schedule, and it has a tendency to collect even the most veteran of drivers. It's going to be interesting to see how everyone handles the speed, especially if we have a full field. I'm pretty confident we've got what it takes to handle the speed this week."
What's it like to have country stars in your pit?
"My relationship with Mike Curb is special, and it's great that we showcase different Curb recording artists. Tim is very talented - we had him out at the ThorSport grand opening last month, and he blew the house down and wanted to play all day. We actually met at Curb at the Nashville race a few months back when we previewed his new song. I wish him all the success in the world, he shares so many of our roots and values."
How do you feel coming out of Bristol?
"That was a comeback, I'll tell you. It was a testament to the team - it was a pretty phenomenal tire that you can make one stop and get that far. I knew in practice we were good on long runs, just lacking in speed so I had to be patient. It was a good last start and we had it in us, now we kept the point lead and it worked."