Sauter To Drive The No. 23 Of R3 Motorsports At Phoenix

By Auto News Log • April 6th, 2010

CHINA GROVE, N.C. — Johnny Sauter will make a one-race appearance driving the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports in the Nationiwde Series race on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Sauter, a three-time winner in the series, was called upon to help keep the team’s upward momentum in the all-important owners’ standings. Following regular driver Robert Richardson Jr.’s 23rd-place finish at Nashville, the team heads to PIR tied for 29th in points with the No. 61 team of Specialty Racing.

The team is hoping that utilizing a veteran like Sauter will aid it even more in the tight ownership standings.

“I really appreciate R3 Motorsports asking me to drive for them this weekend at Phoenix,” Sauter said. “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 owners’ points some more, then it will be a good thing.

In nine previous starts at the 1-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 ’02. His average starting position is 15.3 and average finish is 20.4 while completing 88.7 percent (1,593 of 1,795) of the laps.

“I love racing a track like Phoenix. It’s fast, tricky and keeps you up on the wheel the entire time,” Sauter said. “A track like this has a layout that makes for some good, competitive racing.”

It also will reunite Sauter with crew chief Steve Plattenberger. The two last worked together at Jay Robinson Racing in 2007.

“He’s a very smart guy who knows how to work things just right during a race with a good strategy,” Sauter said of Plattenberger. “If we can follow the game plan he creates, we’ll end up with a pretty good finish in Phoenix.”

Richardson 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.

R3 Motorsports is taking chassis No. 42 to PIR. The last time it was raced was at PIR this past 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.

Source: NASCAR

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