Midwest racing icon, former NASCAR driver Jim Sauter passes away

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Jim Sauter, a top short-track driver from the Midwest that was the head of a successful racing family and made 76 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, passed away last night at the age of 71.

In his home region, the Wisconsin native twice captured the ARTGO Series championship (1981, 1982). He also took the checkered flag in several prestigious short-track races around the country, including the All-American 400.

During the early 1980s, Sauter began racing part-time at NASCAR’s top level. He reached a high point of 19 starts during the 1989 season, and his best career Cup finishes were a pair of ninth-place runs in 1987 (Charlotte) and 1989 (Watkins Glen).

Sauter also served as a test driver for the International Race of Champions series with fellow Wisconsin racing greats Dick Trickle and Dave Marcis.

Sauter’s last NASCAR national series event came in the Camping World Truck Series’ 2004 race at the Milwaukee Mile, where he finished 13th.

One of his four sons, Johnny Sauter, currently races in the Truck Series for ThorSport Racing. His other three sons – Jim Jr., Tim, and Jay – as well as a grandson, Travis, have also carved out their own racing careers.

The passing of Jim Sauter has triggered an outpouring of sympathy from many figures within the NASCAR community…

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Sauter family at this time…