Bristol II: Ford - Elliott Sadler interview

This Week in Ford Racing August 19, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus, has always said that Bristol Motor Speedway is his favorite race track. As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series prepares for the annual...

This Week in Ford Racing
August 19, 2003

NASCAR Winston Cup

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus, has always said that Bristol Motor Speedway is his favorite race track. As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series prepares for the annual night race on Saturday, Sadler spoke about one of the season's most anticipated events and what it's been like trying to get back to victory lane.

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus:

IS THE BRISTOL NIGHT RACE YOUR FAVORITE?

"Yeah, I still think that's the most exciting race on the circuit. All of the fans are pumped up and excited for the Bristol night race just like all the drivers and the crews, so it's just a fun, fun race. You see all the sparks flying at night and it seems like that race track always has some kind of exciting finish for the night race. There's always some kind of controversy or somebody spun out somebody else, so it just seems there's always a lot of fun involved in it and that's why it's a race I always look forward to going to."

CHARLOTTE HAS MADE THE OCTOBER RACE AT NIGHT. DARLINGTON IS GOING TO ADD LIGHTS. EVEN IF EVERY RACE ON THE CIRCUIT BECAME A NIGHT EVENT, WOULD BRISTOL STILL BE UNIQUE?

"Yeah, it would be. Bristol would still be the most amazing place because of what the track offers. There's such close side-by-side racing, bumper-to-bumper, there's no such thing as aero push there. It's just good, hard racing - using your chrome horn and things like that - so I think Bristol will always have an edge on everybody until somebody else builds a track like that. With the stands all the way around, it's so loud and it echoes all over the place, so it's definitely a cool place to go and it will always be a little step above everyone else."

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH CAR TO TAKE?

"We take a car with the most clearance built into it. You almost have to build a Bristol car because you have to have a lot of ground clearance so the car can travel a lot. Everybody messes with the front clips a little bit to try to get all the geometry where it needs to be to make the car go fast. You really don't take a piece of junk because you want to run good, but we'll take a car we can race there that we're not able to race anywhere else."

YOU WON THERE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, BUT SINCE THEN THINGS HAVE NOT GONE THE WAY YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED. HOW HAS THAT AFFECTED YOU?

"I've lost a lot of sleep just wondering because you never know when you're gonna get back to victory lane. There are a lot of good race-car drivers and a lot of good teams that haven't been to victory lane in a while, but our day will come. We know we've got a lot of work to do to put ourselves in that position to try to win a race, so we're certainly gonna work hard in that direction and that area, and, hopefully, good things will come."

LIKE THE NFL, YOU ONLY COMPETE ONCE A WEEK. SOME TEAMS ARE ABLE TO BOUNCE BACK THE NEXT WEEK, BUT IN RACING IT SEEMS WHEN A TEAM IS STRUGGLING IT TAKES LONGER THAN THAT TO TURN THINGS AROUND. HOW TO YOU VIEW THINGS?

"It's a week-to-week deal, but the only difference is we have 42 losers every week instead of one loser. In the stick-and-ball sports you're going to have one winner and one loser, so your chances are definitely a lot better. In NASCAR Winston Cup racing you've just got to be patient. If you get one win a year, you better be very happy. You should feel fortunate and everybody, including your sponsor, should be happy because you don't get to go to victory lane that often. You need to cherish those moments when they happen. It's been a long time since I've been to victory lane, but you've always got that hope and feeling that one day you'll be able to make it back and that's the feeling I've got."

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION LATELY ABOUT MATT KENSETH LEADING THE POINTS WITH ONLY ONE WIN THIS SEASON. BUT DALE EARNHARDT, JR. AND JEFF GORDON ONLY HAVE ONE WIN APIECE, SO IS THAT FURTHER EVIDENCE OF HOW TOUGH THE COMPETITION IS TODAY?

"It is. The competition today is definitely unbelievable, so, like I said, you've got to cherish each win because you never know when the next one is coming. Every time you win one, you'd better act like it's the last one because you just don't know. The competition is so much more fierce right now than it was even two years ago, so it definitely puts a lot more stress on us. You have a lot more sleepless nights and a lot more gray hairs, but I'm really looking forward to that day when we can break the ice for Robert Yates Racing. We're definitely gonna take care of it and celebrate it and cherish it."

YOU'RE ECHOING WHAT MARK MARTIN HAS OFTEN SAID AFTER A WIN - THAT IT MIGHT BE THE LAST ONE.

"Yeah, you never know. That's a part of racing and a part of the sport. That's something you know when you're going in with 43 competitors every week, so it's something you've got to swallow sometimes. You just hope for the best. You never give up and never keep trying. You always have to have that little glimpse of hope that maybe the next week is the one."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Yates Racing