Sauter Has Unfinished Business
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on August 15, 2014 | 4:00 P.M. EST
Johnny Sauter has not scored a top-10 finish in five career Truck starts at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter feels as if he has one coming from Michigan International Speedway in Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200.
The ThorSport Racing driver has five career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the 2-mile speedway but his stats don’t reflect much success. Sauter doesn’t have a top-10 finish to show for his effort, but he doesn’t feel that tells the whole story.
"I feel like Michigan kind of owes me one,” Sauter said. “We've had some good runs there, just not great finishes. Last year, I was wrecked on lap 3 and ended up with a 20th-place finish. In 2012, we were running second and had to make a green-flag pit stop for fuel. In 2011, we were running fifth, and I just spun out on my own. In 2010, we just didn't run well and in 2009, we were running sixth coming to the white flag and I blew a left rear tire.
“Michigan has just been a place where we've had zero results and that's why it's not been one of my favorite race tracks.”
Despite the bitter taste in his mouth, Sauter still doesn’t despise Michigan. Trailing series leader Ryan Blaney by seven points, Sauter needs to bring a positive vibe into Saturday’s race.
“I don't really mind the track, I feel good about it, and it's a track we should be able to go run well at,” he said. “If we can put together a solid finish like we did at Pocono a couple weeks ago, another track that I've historically struggled at, we should be able to bring home a solid finish this weekend and gain more points in the championship standings."
Sauter can take some solace in the fact another one of the series title contenders has also been frustrated at MIS. Veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. is winless in 10 career starts.
Hornaday is fourth in the series standings halfway through the season.
But he’ll need to turn around his Michigan record Saturday to keep things pointed in the right direction.
"Michigan is one of those places I'd really like to conquer,” Hornaday said. “I've been consistent there in the past, but never really dominated a race.
“I know that Turner Scott Motorsports has run really well at Michigan in the past and this No. 30 team has been in Victory Lane there before. Hopefully we can have a strong run and mark this track off the list of places I haven't won yet."
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway starting at noon (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.