NASCAR’s Johnny Sauter hopes to honor dad with Jim Sauter Classic win

Johnny Sauter has won four of his past six starts at Dells Raceway Park, including the Badger State 125 event last month.

Johnny Sauter never gave it any thought that there wasn’t a race named in honor of his late father until he was asked if he’d mind.

Jim Sauter was a standout on the central Wisconsin and regional scenes from the 1960s into the ’90s and a winner on the highest levels of short-track racing around the country. Dick Trickle and Joe Shear were his peers. He went on to race in NASCAR and see his sons follow his path.

“My dad was not a limelight kind of guy,” Sauter said. “The fact that there was never a race in his honor never even entered my mind, because I don’t think that’s something he would have wanted, honestly, just knowing how he was.

“But for me, it’s not even about Jim Sauter the race car driver, it’s about Jim Sauter the dad. … I think he was a hell of a race car driver and an even better father figure. I think he was the ultimate. Quite frankly, when I take a look around at the rest of the world and see what’s going on, I realize now how lucky I was to have the family I have.

Nina Zatulini

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