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 41)
Emporia, Virginia
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
2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
436 races run over 16 years
Car no., team No. 7 (Tommy Baldwin Racing)
2013 position 55th
Best finish 9th (2004)
First race 1998 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte)
Last race 2017 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
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
333 races run over 20 years
Car no., team No. 1 (JR Motorsports)
2016 position 2nd
Best finish 2nd (2011, 2012, 2016)
First race 1995 Ford Credit 300 (South Boston)
Last race 2017 DC Solar 200 (Phoenix)
First win 1997 Core States Advantage 200 (Nazareth)
Last win 2016 VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Kentucky)
Wins Top tens Poles
13 180 16
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
20 races run over 5 years
2011 position 88th
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 March 18, 2017.

Elliott William Barnes Sadler (born April 30, 1975) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports, and part-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet SS for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Sadler is one of 27 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 Racing[edit]

Sadler moved up to the Cup Series full-time in 1999, driving the No. 21 Ford Taurus for Wood Brothers Racing. His best finish that year was 10th 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 Busch Series on a part-time basis, filling in for the injured Andy Santerre for Innovative Motorsports, his best finish being fifth at California Speedway. He also drove a handful of races for Lyndon Amick. Sadler's only Top 10 finish in 2000 was 7th at Bristol, after failing to qualify at Talladega Superspeedway, and he dropped to 29th in points. He also had a wild flip at Michigan Speedway after cutting a tire in practice.

In 2001, Sadler won his first Cup victory at Bristol, making this the first win for Wood Brothers in eight years.[3] He had another Top 10 run and finished 20th in points. After seven Top 10's and a fall to 23rd in points in 2002, Sadler left for Robert Yates Racing to drive the No. 38 Ford, replacing Ricky Rudd.

Robert Yates Racing[edit]

In 2003, his first season of competition with Robert Yates, Sadler won the pole at both Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway, and finished 22nd in points. That year, he had a vicious crash at Talladega after near-contact with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and touched the right-front fender of Kurt Busch. His 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 the 2004 season with a Top 10 finish in the Daytona 500 and six races later, he 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 points standings. He had another flip-crash at Talladega after he spun out and blew over onto his roof. Sadler also was uninjured in that crash, and he was even able to drive his car back to the garage.

Sadler failed to win a race again in the 2005 season; however, he did clinch four poles and finished 13th in the points standings. He also made sixteen starts for Robert Yates in the Busch Series, driving the No. 90 Taurus, and had three Top 5 finishes. In 2006, Sadler won the pole at Talladega and finished 22nd in points. He made seven starts in the Busch Series and his best finish was second at Richmond. After a lack of results, he left RYR midway through 2006 for Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

Evernham/Petty Motorsports[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

Sadler 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.

In December 2008, it was reported that A. J. Allmendinger would replace Sadler in the No. 19 Best Buy Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009.[4] 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 No. 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 No. 19 Ford. During the year however, Sadler announced that he will be leaving the No. 19 Ford after the 2010 season. He ran a part-time schedule in the Camping World Truck Series in the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Incorporated.[5] 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[edit]

Sadler racing at Road America in 2011

On November 5, 2010. Sadler announced a 2-year deal to drive the No. 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.[6]

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 No. 2. In addition, Sadler ran in the 2012 Daytona 500 for RCR in the No. 33 Chevrolet,.[7]

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.[8][9]

Sadler had been announced on March 3 as the third driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota,[10] but Childress wanted Sadler to focus on the Nationwide championship, so the deal was nixed.[11]

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.[12]

Joe Gibbs Racing[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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

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 No. 1 for 2015,.[16] During the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, Sadler became ill and exited the car during the first caution. He was relieved by Clint Bowyer.[17]

Roush Fenway Racing[edit]

2015 Roush Fenway car at Road America

On October 30, 2014, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Sadler would drive the No. 1 car in the Xfinity Series in 2015. This marked Sadler's reunion with former owner and engine builder Doug Yates, and his fourth stint with manufacturer Ford.[18]

JR Motorsports[edit]

On October 2, 2015, Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that Sadler would drive for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series in 2016. This marked the fifth team Sadler has joined since the 2011 season, when he competed for Kevin Harvick Inc. His journey has taken him from KHI to Richard Childress Racing (2012), Joe Gibbs Racing (2013–2014), Roush Fenway and now JRM.[19] On January 6, 2016, Sadler's car number was officially revealed as No. 1.[20]

2016 JR Motorsports car at Road America

Sadler started out his season with a few top tens. Sadler ultimately broke through at the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega. On the final lap it looked like Sadler was set to being the runner-up. Sadler battled Joey Logano on the final lap. When Logano blocked, he spun out from contact from Elliott. Elliott dipped below the yellow line to avoid a spinning Joey. Brennan Poole passed Sadler for the lead just as a caution came out. After a 5-minute delay, with both drivers, Poole and Sadler, waiting on the front-stretch for NASCAR's word, NASCAR ultimately determined that Sadler had been ahead at the moment of caution, dropping Poole to third, and elevating Sadler to first place. The finish was a 1–2 finish for JR Motorsports with Sadler winning and teammate Justin Allgaier finishing second.

Sadler would return to Victory lane at Darlington in the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, beating out Denny Hamlin. The two wins would automatically lock Sadler in the inaugural Xfinity Chase. Sadler was one of three driver starting the chase with wins. In round one, Sadler won the race at Kentucky. Sadler, with a few more top tens, moved on to the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sadler went on to score a runner-up finish in the championship.

In 2017, Sadler returned to the Cup Series part-time with Tommy Baldwin Racing, driving the No. 7 in the Daytona 500.[21] As one of the two fastest non-chartered cars in qualifying, he was able to lock himself into the race before the Can-Am Duels.[22]

Personal life[edit]

He graduated from Brunswick Academy. 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.[23]

Motorsports career results[edit]


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

Monster Energy Cup Series[edit]

Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1999 Wood Brothers Racing Ford 38 40
2000 40 38
2001 40 18
2002 41 2
2003 Robert Yates Racing Ford 16 23
2004 2 7
2005 39 11
2006 3 4
2007 Evernham Motorsports Dodge 30 6
2008 Gillett Evernham Motorsports 35 6
2009 Richard Petty Motorsports 30 5
2010 Ford 12 24
2012 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 10 27
2017 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 40 20

Xfinity Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

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


  1. ^ Elliott Sadler Career Statistics
  2. ^ Anderson, Lars (May 26, 2005). "NASCAR's best athlete – Sadler finally taking advantage of his physical talent". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Caraviello, David (March 12, 2014). "TOP 10 SPRING BATTLES AT BRISTOL". NASCAR. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ Spencer, Lee (December 31, 2008). "Allmendinger tabbed to drive No. 19 for GEM". Foxsports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. 
  5. ^ Hunt Brothers Pizza to sponsor Sadler in Cup & NCWTS
  6. ^ "2011 Nationwide Standings". Racing Reference. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Caraviello, David (January 25, 2012). "RCR will run No. 33 in first five races of 2012". NASCAR.com. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ Bromberg, Nick (March 3, 2012). "Elliott Sadler bags Nationwide win and part-time Cup ride". From the Marbles. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Elliott Sadler ends winless drought". AOL Sporting News. Associated Press. March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sadler to drive No. 55 for MWR in five races". NASCAR.com. March 3, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Spencer, Lee (March 4, 2012). "Sadler/Waltrip Cup deal in jeapordy". Fox Sports. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ Cain, Holly (November 20, 2012). "Sadler signs with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2013". NASCAR. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  13. ^ Utter, Jim (April 5, 2013). "NASCAR launches green initiative". The News & Observer. Raleigh, NC. Retrieved April 9, 2013. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Albert, Zack (August 17, 2013). "At Mid-Ohio debut, cautions, tempers abound". NASCAR.com. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ Spencer, Lee (October 17, 2013). "Sadler set to sub for Vickers". Fox Sports. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ "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. 
  17. ^ Winkler, George (November 1, 2014). "Clint Bowyer subs for sick Elliott Sadler". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ Estrada, Chris (October 31, 2014). "NASCAR: Elliott Sadler jumping to Roush for 2015 XFINITY Series season". MotorSportsTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Elliott Sadler leaving Roush Fenway, joining JR Motorsports in '16". Fox Sports. October 2, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  20. ^ "2016 No. 1 OneMain Chevrolet". OneMain Financial. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  21. ^ Durr, Tim (January 12, 2017). "Elliott Sadler set to drive No. 7 for Tommy Baldwin in the Daytona 500". Foxsports.com. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  22. ^ Staff report (February 19, 2017). "Chase Elliott Captures Back-to-Back Daytona Poles". NASCAR. Turner Sports Network. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  23. ^ Gluck, Jeff (August 13, 2013). "12 Questions with Elliott Sadler". USA Today. McLean, VA. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 

External links[edit]

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