Full Speed Ahead for Travis Sauter
By John Wells
It would be an understatement to say that Travis Sauter had a good year at Madison International Speedway in 2012.
He put together an impressive string of wins highlighted by five straight victories in the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge and took home the checkered flag at the ARCA Midwest Tour race in August.
So what does he do for an encore in 2013?
“My goal is the same as it has always been…try to win every race,” said Sauter who came close to accomplishing that goal at MIS last season when he finished second in the Triple Crown points chase to Nathan Haseleu despite missing the first event. Haseleu won the first three features, but after that it was all Sauter.
As for coming up short of a championship last year, Sauter kept things in perspective. “I’m more focused on winning races than winning championships. I raced for a championship at Madison in 2006 (Madison Late Models) and came up short on the last night.”
“We’ve recently had quite a bit of success on the track. The Milwaukee Mile win last year would definitely be at the top of the list. But what I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve built my racing program from having nothing to now having great sponsors, a great crew, and great equipment. Not too many people get a chance to do this, and I’m proud of the journey we’ve taken to get to this point.”
Coming from a racing family it was only a matter of time before he would get his chance behind the wheel. In 2002 he began driving in the Super Stock division at Dells Raceway Park. “I’d been around racing my whole life so I never really considered doing anything else.. When I started racing I had a lot of help to get me going…my dad was racing in the Busch Series at the time so we built most of the car in North Carolina then brought it up to Wisconsin to finish it. My grandpa helped finish it along with some local crew guys.”
The learning curve for Sauter was pretty steep at first. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew I had to be a fast learner in order to survive. I raced the Super Stock for a year and that’s where I won my first race. In fact I think I won three races my first season. After that I raced a crate late model and of course the super late model now.”
Sauter enjoys the challenge of Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile. “MIS really tests your equipment from engine to brakes to handling. You really have to have everything working perfectly. The key to winning at MIS or any track is having a good car and a good team.” He also added that his greatest moment so far at Madison was his victory in the Midwest Tour race in August of 2012.
Of course none of this would be possible without great sponsors like Habelman Brothers Cranberries and Cranberry Creek Cranberries. “My sponsors are the reason I’m able to be racing,” noted Sauter.
Associate sponsors include Don’s Auto and Truck Center, Eibach Springs, JRI Shocks, Tiger Rear Ends, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, B&B Racing Engines, Five Star Bodies, Goodridge, Unique Ceramic Tile, Howe Racing Products, Coleman Machine, Competition Graphics, Quarter Master, and All Star Performance
He also notes the value of a great crew. His team consists of Brian Thomas, Eric Evans, Bob Dominiczak, Lori Dominiczak, Mike McGavock, and David Naumann.
Come to MIS in 2013 to see the #5 car of Travis Sauter in the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge and the ARCA Midwest Tour. The season opener is Sunday, May 5th when the Midwest Tour comes to town for the Joe Shear Classic.