GOOD "CHI" IN CHI-TOWN?: Returning to one of his best-performing tracks on the NASCAR circuit- Chicagoland Speedway, Johnny Sauter comes to the Windy City sitting second in driver championship points in the Camping World Truck Series. Out of 17 previous weeks, Sauter has been in the top two for 14. Sauter has made two appearances in NCWTS at Chicagoland, in 2009 and 2010- with his best start at fifth and finish at fourth in 2010. He hopes to improve on the last finish with the team's newest chassis - 42.
TOP DRIVER, TOP TRACK: The driver leads in consistency stats at Chicagoland for the NCWTS. Only Kyle Busch tops his streak of better finishes at the intermediate track with Truck Series starts. He looks to have a consistent top five finish- or the visit to Victory Lane.
RUNNING WITH EXTRA "FUEL": Sauter heads to Chicagoland with a little extra "fuel" in his pocket - from little Bryson Smith, a courageous young man battling leukemia in Mooresville, NC. Sauter and wife Cortney support Brysonsfuel.org, Bryson's organization dedicated to help shed light on the battle against childhood cancer. The family is hosting a balloon release at the Mooresville Chik-Fil-A on September 24th. More information is available at Brysonsfuel.org.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 13 team will utilize chassis No. 042 this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Built for the 2011 season, this chassis is the latest to come off the ThorSport Racing production line. It will test at Sandusky Speedway this week before making its debut in Chicago with the 13.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Sauter drove the No. 13 home to a disappointing 29th place after a wild ride at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, September 9th. He qualified 12th on the grid; then ran much of the race in the top fifteen. After contact with a competitor, Sauter encountered tire woes that relegated him to pit road for four unscheduled stops throughout the night. His finish pushed him to second in overall driver championship points, a mere 12 behind leader James Buescher.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Johnny Sauter
ThorSport Racing announced your 2012 contract. Thoughts?
"I couldn't be happier knowing we've got a place to hang our hat again next year. It just puts everybody at ease when you're going after a championship. I'm thrilled that we can go after it again next year with ThorSport Racing, and it puts us at ease to do our jobs the rest of this season. It's been such a good home for me with great resources, great people and a great chance to win."
How do you feel coming out of Atlanta?
"We had a hiccup in Atlanta, it's been tough and racing in general is tough - you never know what's going to happen. We struggled throughout the course of the weekend. I got on a plane right after the race and spent four days in Ohio, and we got our arms around where we think we went wrong. Anytime you've got trouble and incidental contact, it's not good. We gambled on a few decisions, and we didn't have the night we wanted. I know we've put that behind us and are ready to get to Chicago - a track I like a lot."
Going into Chicago, what are your thoughts for a championship run?
"You can look at a million different things all year and wish you'd done things a lot differently in many cases. We've agreed as a team not to dwell on anything, just focus on this homestretch. We live and die by our decisions in the heat of the moment, and I trust everybody of my team. We know we've got to be smart going down the homestretch and be a top truck week in and week out. When we do the right things, we win races. When we win races, we get that much closer to championships. We're hoping to be the 'team to catch' going into Homestead in a few months."