His Dad Won Two out of the First Three, Johnny Sauter Looks for Third 250 Win Tuesday at WIR
Kaukauna, WI- His Dad Jim Sauter was featured in all the ads back when the Gandrud Auto Group 250 was first run in 1981, then known as the ARTGO/Dixieland Challenge. Jim Sauter and Canadian Legend Junior Hanley split the twin feature format with NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin being named the overall winner. Johnny Sauter himself was born just three years prior and watched his Dad win both the Wisconsin International Raceway and ARTGO Championships that year. A year later Jim Sauter bested the likes of another NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip to win the second running of what would become a tradition for Midwest Motorsports enthusiasts on the first Tuesday in August.
Johnny Sauter has two wins in the Gandrud Auto Group 250, those wins coming in 2010 and 2014. It seemed there would be more, as the 2016 NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Champion time and time again has one of the most dominant cars when he comes to WIR. But as they say, “these things are not easy to win.” A broken A-Frame saw Sauter’s popular #5 go out of the race in a shower of sparks after dominating the 2015 running. But he keeps coming back. It is obvious to short track racing fans that events like this and LaCrosse’s Oktoberfest really do mean something to Sauter. Sauter has six career ARCA Midwest Tour victories, his last coming at Dells Raceway Park in 2018 in a car he works on continuously in his own shop.
For the 2020 NASCAR Truck season Sauter returned to ThorSport Racing where he is teamed with crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. That duo won the 2001 ASA National Tour Championship as well as the 2016 NASCAR Truck Title. Shear, Jr’s father Joe is a two-time winner of this event, in 1994 and again in 1996.
Advance discount tickets for the Gandrud Auto Group 250 are $20 and can be purchased online at www.midwesttour.racing through August 3. Tickets will also be available on race day at the gate for $25. Spectator gates open at 4pm, qualifying will begin at 5pm with the first race at 7pm during the Tuesday Night August 4 Special Event at Wisconsin International Raceway.
A 28 car field is scheduled to start ‘Wisconsin’s Richest One Day Race’ which pays $10,000 to the winner of the 250 lap event and $1,200 to start. Drivers from ten states and Canada are expected to attempt to make the starting grid. The Midwest Truck Series will join the ARCA Midwest Tour with the trucks contesting a 35 lap feature event.