Johnny Sauter spent his one-race NASCAR suspension under and behind the wheel of his Super Late Model.
Johnny Sauter has not spoken to Austin Hill following their retaliatory confrontation last weekend at Iowa Speedway and he doesn’t plan to.
In fact, he really doesn’t want to talk about it at all.
The 2016 champion is ready to move on and chase a championship for Thorsport Racing assuming NASCAR lets him out of the self-described “penalty box” now that he has served his one-race suspension for intentionally crashing Hill under caution following a series of previous incidents between them.
In true Sauter fashion, the 41-year-old spent his de facto paid time off behind the wheel of a different race car — entering the Dick Trickle 99 at Dells Raceway Park immediately after NASCAR announced the suspension on Wednesday afternoon.
Sauter finished second to fellow NASCAR notable Ty Majeski on Saturday night, driving from 16th-to-second in 99 green flag laps without a caution, falling just five seconds short. In comparison, Majeski won the race after starting fifth.
Sauter could have spent his free weekend on a boat or on the couch, but that’s not what Wisconsin’s first short track family does.
“I don’t know anything else, honestly,” Sauter told Autoweek after the Trickle 99. “I do a little bit of fishing. Here’s the thing. If I’m at home, chances are pretty good that I’m in the shop working on my car anyway. This is a brand-new car and I burned the midnight oil all week to get it ready and it’s something I love.
“I love racing, man… I like building cars just as much as I love racing them, man.”
NASCAR announced a one-race suspension for @JohnnySauter following the incident with @_AustinHill
Here's some of what Sauter told us Sunday just after exiting the NASCAR hauler >> pic.twitter.com/jado1SLQAN
Following the confrontation, Hill sent Sauter a tweet suggesting they should talk about what happened. Sauter, who told a group of fans on Saturday night that he “did what I felt was right” with his retaliatory act, has no interest.
“No, I don’t have much to say,” Sauter said. “There isn’t anything to talk about. Honestly, I can’t let it become a distraction. This is a championship-winning effort with my 13 team. Duke and Rhonda (Thorson, team owners) have been gold to me and I’ve said that 1,000 times.
“I can’t let this be a distraction to my team. My guys deserve better.”
Does Sauter have any regrets?
“Honestly, not really,” Sauter said. “I thought about it a lot. You know, I (laughs) it’s a tough one. We’ll see how it goes.”
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