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The second to last day of school at Queen of the Apostles Catholic School had candy and a race car.

Jim Sauter, a local short-track race car driver, brought his race car to the school May 29 for a fun, end of the school year activity for students. In addition to the car, Sauter brought candy and pictures of the car with his name for autographs.

Sauter, who was asked by Monsignor Richard Gilles to stop by, was happy to share his vehicle with the students.

“It turned out to be a great afternoon, and I’m happy to do it for them,” he said. “I just hope they had a good time looking at it. I didn’t expect to teach them anything about it, but as long as they have a good time looking at it and they think it’s cool, I’m good with it.”

Katie Sauter, Jim Sauter’s wife, was also glad to bring the car for the students to enjoy.

“I think it was an excellent idea,” she said. “We always want to do stuff with the church and school and we really want to help support Catholic schools and local short track racing because people don’t go as much as they should. I think this is fun, plus the kids love it and who doesn’t love candy?”

Originally from Necedah, Jim Sauter now lives in Tomah.

Car racing is a Sauter family tradition; he got into racing because of his family, Jim Sauter said.

“My father raced for years and years and then my three brothers raced for years, and actually a couple of them still do,” he said. “It just kind of kept trickling down.”

His father ran in the Winston Cup Series, his brother Johnny is in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series and his two other brothers have driven in the truck series and Busch Series.

Jim Sauter has been driving for 18 years but has also worked for NASCAR in pit crews for Joe Nemechek, Robert Pressley, Morgan Shepherd, Jay Sauter and Jim Sauter.

Nowadays, while he enjoys racing, Jim Sauter said he also likes tinkering with the cars between races.

“I still love driving them, but everybody does,” he said. “I like building the stuff mainly now, and racing them definitely ranks right up there, too.”

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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