Driver Spotlight: Johnny Sauter
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on April 9, 2013 | 12:45 P.M. EST
Sauter became the second driver to win the first two races of the season with his win at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
Get to know NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter in this week's edition of MotorRacingNetwork.com’s "Driver Spotlight."
You grew up in a racing family, but do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to become a racecar driver?
Sauter: I don't really remember. It was actually later than a lot of people do. I never turned a lap in a racecar until I was 18. I would say probably 12, 14 or something like that.
Who were your racing idols growing up?
Sauter: Growing up in a racing family, my dad and my brothers were idols to me. Al Unser Jr. and Johnny Benson were actually two other guys I pulled pretty hard for.
Where did you get your first-ever win?
Sauter: It was in the first year I raced - a Street Stock car up at Wisconsin Dells Speedway. I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was pretty early in my career.
Do you have any hobbies outside of racing?
Sauter: Racing is all I do. I have a Late Model car that I drive. If I'm not racing in the Truck Series, I'm working on that trying to race somewhere.
What was the first street car you owned?
Sauter: A 1977 Chevy pickup, half-ton. I remember having the itch real bad. Where I come from, we call the itch - it's rust. Everything was rusted out on it.
You have some collector cars. What do you own and which one is your favorite?
Sauter: Right now, I have a 1937 Ford sedan and a 1952 Chevy pick-up. I sold my 1957 Chevy Bel Air. It's fun to keep stuff in rotation. My favorite out of the group is the '37 Ford. It's a really cool car. They didn't make a lot of them so I don't see them very often. I get a kick out of it.
Growing up in Wisconsin, did you like to spend time in the outdoors, especially in the racing off-season?
Sauter: People always ask, "How do you deal with the winters in Wisconsin?" and I always say, "Well, you have to be an outdoorsman or enjoy the outdoors, especially in the wintertime." I like to go snowmobiling, ice fishing, playing hockey and all that kind of stuff. We used to go downhill skiing a lot, so there's always something to do.
What's your favorite restaurant to visit on the NASCAR schedule?
Sauter: I'm pretty simple. I'm a hamburger and French fry kind of guy so I can eat anywhere.
This week, the Trucks head back to Rockingham. Where does that track rank for you?
Sauter: It's extra special for me because I got to race there in Cup and Nationwide in the early days, 10-12 years ago. Rockingham was always one of my favorites and to be able to go back with the Truck Series is awesome. I think it's one of the best races on the schedule.
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