Jim Sauter

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This article is about the racing driver. For the saxophonist, see Jim Sauter (musician).
Jim Sauter
Born (1943-06-01)June 1, 1943
Necedah, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died October 31, 2014(2014-10-31) (aged 71)
Achievements 1981 ARTGO Challenge Series Champion
1982 ARTGO Challenge Series Champion
1983 All American 400 winner
1980 National Short Track Championship winner
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
76 races run over 14 years
Best finish 33rd (1989)
First race 1980 National 500 (Charlotte)
Last race 1996 Goody's Headache Powder 500 (Bristol)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 4 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
4 races run over 4 years
Best finish 80th (1996)
First race 1989 Ames/Peak 200 (Dover)
Last race 2002 GNC Live Well 250 (Milwaukee)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
2 races run over 2 years
Best finish 81st (1999)
First race 1999 goracing.com 200 (Michigan)
Last race 2004 Black Cat Fireworks 200 (Milwaukee)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0

Jim Sauter (June 1, 1943 – October 31, 2014) was an American stock car racing driver from Necedah, Wisconsin. He formerly raced in all three of NASCAR's national series, and is best known for having been a test driver for the International Race of Champions, as well as winning two championships in the Midwest-based ARTGO Challenge Series.

Racing career[edit]

Sauter's 1989 Winston Cup car

Sauter started racing in 1964 in a modified at Raceway Park in Savage, Minnesota.[1] He moved up to late models the following year.[1] Sauter moved to Wisconsin, and his career took off after he won the North Star 500 at the Minnesota State Fair in a Dave Marcis Chevelle.[1] Sauter said "The funny thing about that race was the fact that we had a barn full of various brands of tires that we wanted to use up and ended up with Goodyear on the outside and Firestone on the inside for no other reason than that. Everyone thought it must be the hot tip."[1] Marcis called Sauter in 1978 and asked him to drive his racecar in the ARCA 200. Sauter battled Bruce Hill for the win on the last lap. They crashed, with Hill ending his race along the wall and Sauter won.[1]

Sauter raced in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in the 1980s and 1990s.[2] He drove part-time in the Winston Cup series, posting four top ten finishes in 76 starts. He was an independent (non-factory) driver with limited funds. To help pay the bills, Sauter did Goodyear tires tests along with Marcis.[2]

Sauter raced primarily in the ARTGO and ASA series. Sauter returned to Wisconsin to win the 1981 track championship at Wisconsin International Raceway.[3] Sauter won the 1981 and 1982 ARTGO championships with 16 of 20 career victories in those years (seven in 1981 and nine in 1982).[4] Sauter won several major regional races including the 1980 National Short Track Championship at Rockford Speedway and the 1983 All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.[4] He also competed at the Slinger Nationals, Snowball Derby, Winchester 400 and the World Crown.[4]

Head of racing family[edit]

His sons Tim, Jay, and Johnny have followed his footsteps by racing on the NASCAR circuit. His other son Jim, Jr. has raced on regional events along with his grandson Travis Sauter.[5] Sauter raced in his final NASCAR Nationwide Series at the Milwaukee Mile racing against Tim, Jay and Johnny.[4] None of Sauter's seven daughters nor his son Joe are involved in racing.[2][4]

IROC involvement[edit]

Sauter was also well known for preparing the setups and testing International Race of Champions (IROC) cars with Dick Trickle and Dave Marcis.

Diecast appearance[edit]

Racing Champions Diecast has a 1991 edition diecast replica of his #89 Evinrude Outboard Motors Pontiac.


Sauter died following a brief illness on October 31, 2014. He was 71 years old.[6]

Motorsports career results[edit]

Racing record[edit]

Daytona 500 results[edit]

Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1982 Jim Stacy Buick 17 12
1983 Ulrich Racing Chevrolet 20 18
1985 Mueller Brothers Pontiac 28 23
1986 27 25
1991 21 23
1993 39 19


  1. ^ a b c d e Grubba, Dale (2000). The Golden Age of Wisconsin Auto Racing. Oregon, Wisconsin: Badger Books. pp. 228–229. ISBN 1-878569-67-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Flowers, Jack (December 1, 2009). "Sauter Family Is Still Getting It Done". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Final 1981 Point Standings". Wisconsin International Raceway. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Family Patriarch Jim Sauter Passes Away". Speed 51. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Lillard, Kevin. "The Sauter Family - Necedah's Racing Heroes". Juneau County (WI) Star News. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.nascar.com/en_us/news-media/articles/2014/11/1/jim-sauter-dies-age-71.html

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dick Trickle
ARTGO Challenge Series Champion
1981, 1982
Succeeded by
Dick Trickle