Elliott Sadler

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Elliott Sadler
Elliott Sadler 2014 Gardner Denver 200 at Road America.jpg
Sadler at Road America in 2014
Born (1975-04-30) April 30, 1975 (age 39)
Emporia, Virginia, U.S.
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Achievements 1983–1984 Virginia State Karting Championship
North Carolina Gold Cup 1991–1992
1995 South Boston Speedway Track Champion
Awards 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
435 races run over 15 years
2013 position 55th
Best finish 9th (2004)
First race 1998 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte)
Last race 2013 Ford EcoBoost 400 (Homestead)
First win 2001 Food City 500 (Bristol)
Last win 2004 Pop Secret 500 (California)
Wins Top tens Poles
3 69 8
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
263 races run over 17 years
Car no., team No. 1 (Roush Fenway Racing)
2014 position 3rd
Best finish 2nd (2011, 2012)
First race 1995 Ford Credit 300 (South Boston)
Last race 2014 Ford EcoBoost 300 (Homestead)
First win 1997 Core States Advantage 200 (Nazareth)
Last win 2014 Aaron's 312 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
10 131 16
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
20 races run over 5 years
Best finish 24th (2010)
First race 2000 Kroger 200 (Richmond)
Last race 2011 Ford 200 (Homestead)
First win 2010 Pocono Mountains 125 (Pocono)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 10 2
Statistics current as of November 15, 2014.

Elliott William Barnes Sadler (born April 30, 1975) is an American stock car racing driver. He currently drives the No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Sadler is one of twenty-three drivers who have at least one win each of NASCAR's top three series. Sadler was born in Emporia, Virginia; he is the younger brother of former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler.[1]

Racing career[edit]

Early racing career[edit]

Sadler began racing in go-karts at the age of seven, and moved up to the Late Model stock car division at the local race track. His accomplishments include over 200 total wins, the 1983–84 Virginia State Karting Championship, and the North Carolina Gold Cup in 1991–92.

When he turned 18, he moved to the Winston Racing Series and ran full-time beginning in 1993. That same year, he achieved his first victory. In 1995, he was crowned track champion at South Boston Speedway, winning 13 races including a 6-race winning streak.

Sadler was a six-sport athlete in high school, participating in football, basketball, baseball, cross country, soccer, and golf. He was recruited by over 20 universities to play college basketball and ended up accepting a basketball scholarship from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. However, he injured his knee before his freshman season and needed two surgeries, eventually quitting school to focus on racing.[2]

Wood Brothers years[edit]

Sadler moved up to the Cup Series full-time in 1999, driving the #21 Citgo Ford Taurus for Wood Brothers Racing. His best finish that year was tenth at Texas Motor Speedway, and he finished 24th in points, runner-up to Tony Stewart for Rookie of the Year honors. He also returned to the Nationwide Series on a part-time basis, filling in for the injured Andy Santerre for Innovative Motorsports, his best finish fifth at California Speedway. He also drove a handful of races for Lyndon Amick. Sadler's only top-ten finish in 2000 was tenth at Bristol, after failing to qualify at Talladega Superspeedway, and he dropped to twenty-ninth in points. He also had a wild flip at Michigan Speedway after cutting a tire in practice.

In 2001, Motorcraft became Sadler's new sponsor and he won his first career Cup race at Bristol, and the first win for the Wood Brothers in eight years.[3] He had another top-ten run and finished 20th in points. After seven top-tens and a drop to 23rd in points in 2002, Sadler left for Robert Yates Racing to drive the #38 M&M's Ford, replacing Ricky Rudd.

Robert Yates years[edit]

In his first season of competition with Yates, Sadler won the pole at Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway, and finished 22nd in points. In 2003, Sadler had a vicious crash at Talladega after near-contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and touched the right-front fender of Kurt Busch. Sadler's car flew into the air, flipped twice, landed on his roof, spun towards the banking, and flipped six times. Sadler emerged uninjured.

Sadler in 2007

Sadler started 2004 with a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500, and six races later won at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd career win. He stayed in the top-10 in points all season, and won at California Speedway, beating Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin. He made the Chase, and finished a career high ninth in the championship standings. He had another flip at Talladega after he spun out and blew over onto his roof. Sadler was uninjured, and he was even able to drive his car back to the garage.

Sadler failed to win again in 2005, but clinched four poles. He finished 13th in points. He also drove sixteen races for RYR's Busch car, the #90 Citifinancial Taurus, and had three top-five finishes. In 2006, Sadler won the pole at Talladega and finished 22nd in points. He made seven Busch starts, his best finish was second at Richmond. After a lack of results, Sadler left RYR midway through 2006 for Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

Evernham/Petty years[edit]

Before the start of the 2007 Daytona 500, Sadler was among many other drivers caught in a cheating scandal. Despite being docked 25 points, he still went on to score a season best 6th place finish. Sadler had many ups and downs throughout the season. In 2007, Sadler led 62 laps, posted two top-10 finishes and finished 25th in points. Sadler had the longest streak without a DNF than any other driver before failing to finish a race in 2007.

2008 car

For the 2008 season, Sadler received new sponsorship; Best Buy for 15 races, Stanley Works for 13 races, McDonald's for 6 races, and Siemens for 2 races. He struggled in 2008, garnering only 2 top fives, 8 top tens, and 16 top twenties. He had 4 DNFs and 12 finishes of 30th or worse. Sadler led 21 laps in 2008, his fewest since the 2000 season. He ended the year 24th in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

On December 27, 2008, it was reported that A.J. Allmendinger would replace Sadler in the #19 Best Buy Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009. Sadler threatened a lawsuit for breach of contract; however, the lawsuit was dropped after the GEM – Petty Enterprises merger and he returned to the ride for 2009.

After all of the offseason issues Sadler found himself in the #19 Stanley Tools Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. In the 2009 Daytona 500 Sadler took the lead on Lap 123 and stayed in the lead for the final stages in the race. On the last green flag lap Sadler got passed by Matt Kenseth and seconds later the caution came out. Kenseth wound up finishing first while Sadler came up in fifth. He ended the year 26th in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

In 2010 Sadler returned to RPM and run the #19 Ford with Stanley Tools sponsorship. During the year however, Sadler announced that he will be leaving the #19 Ford after the 2010 season. He ran a part-time schedule in the Camping World Truck Series in the #2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Incorporated.[4] In this ride, Sadler won his first NASCAR race in 6 years at Pocono in the Pocono Mountains 125 in July.

The next day Sadler was involved in a wreck where he hit the inside fence (a blind spot on the track, not well-recorded by video cameras) after being hit from behind by A.J. Allmendinger. Kurt Busch was hit from behind by Jimmie Johnson causing him to spin into Clint Bowyer who received little damage but still finished 12th. The wreck was so horrific it threw the engine away from the car and caused the race to be red flagged for 25 minutes to clean up the wreck. There were several reports by fans that his car flew through the air. With a grimace on his face, he climbed out of the car and laid down on the track. He was taken to the medical facility where he later emerged and gave an interview to on hand media personnel. He said he was fine & was a little sore, but had the breath knocked out of him and had taken "the hardest hit of his career" at Pocono. He was proud of his team back home that had built a safe car and of the pit crew and of all of the hard work they had put into the race thus far. On August 3, Sadler announced on NASCAR Now that NASCAR told him it was the hardest head-on crash ever recorded in NASCAR history. On November 5, 2010 Sadler won the pole for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway qualifying at 195.397, the fastest qualifying speed since 1999.

KHI and RCR years[edit]

Sadler racing at Road America in 2011

On November 5, 2010. Sadler announced a 2-year deal to drive the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the Nationwide Series and also will drive a selected amount of races in the Camping World Truck Series. Sadler took the championship points lead in the Nationwide Series after the eleventh race in the 2011 season. He ended up finishing second in points with 24 top-ten finishes in 34 events.[5]

At the end of the 2011 season, KHI's Nationwide Series operations were absorbed by Richard Childress Racing and Sadler moved to RCR for 2012, remaining in the #2. In addition, Sadler ran in the 2012 Daytona 500 for RCR in the No. 33 Chevrolet,.[6]

On March 3, 2012, Sadler won the Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix, his first win since October 31, 1998 at North Carolina Motor Speedway, a span of 91 races.[7][8]

Sadler had been announced on March 3 as the third driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota,[9] but Childress wanted Sadler to focus on the Nationwide championship, so the deal was nixed.[10]

On March 17, Sadler won at Bristol, making it the first year the mid-1990s that the first four NNS races have been won by non-Sprint Cup drivers. It also had Sadler winning two of the first four races of the season.

On July 22, Sadler held off hard charging Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Chicagoland Speedway to collect his third win of the season, and held on to his point lead over Stenhouse and Austin Dillon.

Sadler got black flagged after supposedly jumping the restart at the inaugural Indiana 250. Elliott's point lead vanished nearly after the black flag. The week after he dominated the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa en route to his 4th win of the year. Heading into Phoenix, Sadler was once again caught up in a late crash, which ended his championship hopes. He would finish 2nd in points again to Stenhouse. He would later announce his move to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2013, taking OneMain Financial with him.[11]

Joe Gibbs Racing years[edit]

Sadler's 2013 Nationwide car

In addition to running the full Nationwide Series schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing, Sadler announced in March that he would be competing in three Sprint Cup Series events for the team, driving the No. 81 Toyota with former sponsor Mars, Inc.'s Alert Energy Gum brand.[12] Sadler ran one race with Alert Energy before it and other Caffeine gums were pulled from the market. He attempted Talladega with Doublemint but failed to qualify due to rain.

At Loudon in 2013, Sadler was running in the top ten with 10 laps left in the race. With 6 laps to go, Sadler pulled a block on Regan Smith. The two drivers got contact that sent Sadler around into the grasses. After the race ended, Sadler and Smith argued on pit road with Sadler vowing to Smith that "you will not win this championship mark my words.". Although Smith apologized, their rivalry was renewed during the inaugural race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a few weeks later, when Smith passed Sadler for a spot through contact. When Sadler was running behind Smith a few laps later, Sadler retaliated, sending Smith into a crash collecting Ron Fellows.[13] After medical issues forced Brian Vickers to sit out the end of the 2013 racing season, Sadler was named to drive the No. 55 MWR for the final four Sprint Cup races of 2013.[14]

After going winless, he won the 2014 Aaron's 312 after defending Chris Buescher and Regan Smith, It was his first win since 2012 and his first with Gibbs.

On October 31, 2014, it was announced Sadler would join Roush Fenway Racing in the #1 for 2015, with OneMain sponsoring.[15] During the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, Sadler became ill and exited the car during the first caution. He was relieved by Clint Bowyer.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Sadler is heavily involved in the Autism Speaks charity. In 2008, Best Buy (his sponsor) sponsored the Best Buy 400 Benefiting Student Clubs of Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. His car had a custom paint scheme specifically for that race.

He was the cover athlete on EA Sports NASCAR 07 and was also on the special edition NASCAR 09.

Sadler is married, to Amanda, and they have two children.[17]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

* Season in progress.
1 Ineligible for series championship points.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elliott Sadler Career Statistics
  2. ^ Anderson, Lars (May 26, 2005). "NASCAR's best athlete – Sadler finally taking advantage of his physical talent". SI.com. Time Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  3. ^ Caraviello, David (March 12, 2014). "TOP 10 SPRING BATTLES AT BRISTOL". NASCAR. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  4. ^ Hunt Brothers Pizza to sponsor Sadler in Cup & NCWTS
  5. ^ "2011 Nationwide Standings". Racing Reference. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Caraviello, David (January 25, 2012). "RCR will run No. 33 in first five races of 2012". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  7. ^ Bromberg, Nick (March 3, 2012). "Elliott Sadler bags Nationwide win and part-time Cup ride". From the Marbles. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  8. ^ "Elliott Sadler ends winless drought". AOL Sporting News. Associated Press. March 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  9. ^ "Sadler to drive No. 55 for MWR in five races". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. March 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  10. ^ Spencer, Lee (March 4, 2012). "Sadler/Waltrip Cup deal in jeapordy". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  11. ^ Cain, Holly (2012-11-20). "Sadler signs with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2013". NASCAR. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  12. ^ Utter, Jim (April 5, 2013). "NASCAR launches green initiative". The News & Observer. Raleigh, NC. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  13. ^ Albert, Zack (August 17, 2013). "At Mid-Ohio debut, cautions, tempers abound". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  14. ^ Spencer, Lee (October 17, 2013). "Sadler set to sub for Vickers". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  15. ^ "OneMain Financial to Sponsor Roush Fenway Racing No. 1 Ford Mustang and Elliott Sadler in 2015". Roush Fenway Racing. October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  16. ^ Winkler, George (November 1, 2014). "Clint Bowyer subs for sick Elliott Sadler". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ Gluck, Jeff (August 13, 2013). "12 Questions with Elliott Sadler". USA Today. McLean, VA. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Brad Keselowski
NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
2011
Succeeded by
Danica Patrick
Preceded by
Jeff Gordon/Jimmie Johnson
NASCAR EA cover athlete
2007
Succeeded by
Tony Stewart