CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 6, 2010) – For this Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, Johnny Sauter will make a one-race appearance driving the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports.
Sauter, a three-time winner in the series, was called upon to help keep the team’s upward momentum in the all-important Owner’s Points standings. Coming into last week’s race at Nashville Superspeedway, the No. 23 team was 31st in points trailing 30th by 15 markers.
After a solid performance by the team’s regular driver, Robert Richardson, Jr., en route to a 23rd-place finish in Nashville, the team heads to PIR tied for 29th in points with the No. 61 team. The team is hoping that utilizing a veteran like Sauter will aid them even more in the tight ownership standings.
This will also reunite Sauter with crew chief Steve Plattenberger. The two last worked together at Jay Robinson Racing in 2007.
Richardson, Jr. will be back in the car for races at Texas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, before Coleman Pressley returns to the seat for the Richmond International Speedway race to round out the April schedule.
Sauter Fast Facts: In nine previous starts at the one-mile oval of PIR, Sauter has recorded two top-10 finishes. His best start was fifth in 2004 and best finish of seventh was scored in 2002. His average starting position is 15.3 and finishing average is 20.4 while completing 88.7 percent (1,593 of 1,795) competition laps.
Car Facts: R3 Motorsports is taking Chassis No. 42 to PIR this weekend. The last time it was raced was at PIR last fall by Ken Butler III. Running in the top-20, the race ended early for them when the motor expired. Since then, a new front clip and body has been put on the car.
Did you know: In 197 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, Johnny Sauter has three wins, 21 top-fives and 49 top-10 finishes.
Johnny Sauter quotes: "I really appreciate R3 Motorsports asking me to drive for them this weekend at Phoenix. I’ve been keeping an eye on what they’re doing this year and everything seems to be going in a good direction. If I can help them continue in that direction by moving them up the Owner’s Points some more, then it will be a good thing.
"I love racing a track like Phoenix. It’s fast, tricky and keeps you up on the wheel the entire time. A track like this has a layout that makes for some good, competitive racing. I’m looking forward to this, and I get to work with my old crew chief, Steve Plattenberger, again, too.
"He’s a very smart guy who knows how to work things just right during a race with a good strategy. If we can follow the game plan he creates, we’ll end up with a pretty good finish in Phoenix."