Bristol: Elliott Sadler race report

Tough day for Sadler, "M&M's" Team at Bristol. BRISTOL, TN (March 23, 2003) -- Bristol Motor Speedway is a tough track on a driver -- mentally and physically. It was a mixture of ill handing cars and tough luck this weekend as Elliott Sadler and...

Tough day for Sadler, "M&M's" Team at Bristol.

BRISTOL, TN (March 23, 2003) -- Bristol Motor Speedway is a tough track on a driver -- mentally and physically. It was a mixture of ill handing cars and tough luck this weekend as Elliott Sadler and the "M&M's"® team started the Food City 500 from the 30th position.

Sadler and the "M&M's"® team struggled unusually hard this weekend to find a handle on the setup of the car. The team utilized every minute of practice sessions on Saturday, and in the closing minutes seemed to have found the right combination.

It was a sluggish start to the Food City 500, as multiple cautions slowed the pace, Sadler was told by his crew chief Raymond Fox and his spotter that he needed to be patient throughout the race. Fighting an ill handling race car, Sadler fought his way into the fifth position by lap 63.

The team adjusted on the "M&M's" car during each pit stop. The car finally started to handle better until Sadler dodged a wreck on lap 219. Apparently a part from Mark Martin's Ford came loose on impact and got wedged in Sadler's right side door. Sadler was running seventh when NASCAR called the "M&M's" car to pit road. The crew pulled the debris out but Sadler was now in the 23rd position -- left to fight his way back again.

A long green flag run, slow lapped traffic and a tight handing car all combined causing Sadler to lose three laps to the leader. Late race cautions and problems with the brakes prolonged an already long day for the team as they didn't get the chance to race back into contention. The "M&M's" team ended the Food City 500 in the 21st position.

"Man, that was a tough day," said Sadler. "We just struggled all weekend long. We stayed out of the wrecks for the most part but my car just would not handle -- it was so tight in the center it just caused the nose to slide when I tried to turn it. Raymond and the guys worked on it, but man it just really never came around. Tough, tough day for the "M&M's" team. Hopefully next week we will have a lot more to say at Texas."

The next race is the Samsung RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 30th, 2003.

-ryr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin