Johnny Sauter comes home, cap­tures Trickle 99 at Ok­to­ber­fest

Manila Times - - Nascar -

WEST SALEM: Johnny Sauter has raced at NASCAR’s high­est lev­els -- Cup, Xfin­ity and Truck Se­ries -- and done well at each, in­clud­ing win­ning a Camp­ing World Truck cham­pi­onship.

When it comes to com­pet­ing at the Ok­to­ber­fest Rac­ing Week­end, how­ever, there is some­thing that tugs at Sauter’s home­grown Wis­con­sin roots.

That was ev­i­dent Fri­day night when the DeFor­est, Wis., man won the highly pop­u­lar three-seg­ment race called the Dick Trickle 99, which is named af­ter the leg­endary Wis­con­sin short-track driver.

“Be­ing a Wis­con­sin guy, Dick Trickle is ob­vi­ously ‘ The Man’ around these parts,” Sauter said of Trickle, who died in 2013.

“It is ex­tra spe­cial, too, be­cause Vick Get­zloff ( Trickle’s old crew chief) does my tires and ob­vi­ously he raced with Trickle for over a decade as his right­hand man.

“It is kind of cool to win this for Vick. I felt that way when I got here this morn­ing, man it would be so cool to win this for Vick.”

He did just that.

In a unique race that is bro­ken down into three, 33- lap seg­ments, driv­ers are awarded points based on their fin­ish. Af­ter three seg­ments the scores are com­piled with the low­est to­tal win­ning.

Sauter won the open­ing seg­ment, earn­ing a sin­gle point. He was sev­enth in the sec­ond, and sec­ond in the third, leav­ing him with 10 to­tal points.

Casey John­son of Edger­ton, Wis., was sec­ond with 15 points, based on fin­ishes of sev­enth, fifth and third. Ty Ma­jeski, the sec­ond-seg­ment win­ner, wound up third with 16 points (sixth, first and ninth).

Sauter, in his typ­i­cal driv­ing style, was ag­gres­sive in each seg­ment de­spite driv­ing a car that he will use in Sun­day’s Ok­to­ber­fest 200, the high­light of the four- day Ok­to­ber­fest Races.

“I only race one way, and that is hard as I can. You got to make the stuff han­dle good enough to be able to do that -- at least that is what we try to do,” Sauter said.

“Ob­vi­ously, this is all about po­si­tion­ing right? And ad­vanc­ing your spot. You don’t have a choice but to drive hard. Sun­day’s deal is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, you can kind of get into cruise mode a lit­tle bit there. This is all about get­ting where you are go­ing in a hurry.”

Sauter, the de­fend­ing Camp­ing World Truck Se­ries cham­pion who is the hunt for a an­other ti­tle, started the open­ing seg­ment in the 12th po­si­tion of a 23- car field loaded with tal­ent. He pushed his No. 5 car hard, pick­ing off car af­ter car un­til he was in fourth place by Lap 9 of the 33-lap seg­ment.

Sauter and Ja­cob Goede of Carver, Minn., en­gaged in an in­tense bat­tle for third place be­fore Sauter swiped it on Lap 11. His push to the front was far from over, as he stole sec­ond from vet­eran Dan Fredrick­son of Lakeville, Minn., on the back­stretch of Lap 20.

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