Daytona 500: Elliott Sadler preview

Two poles bought Sadler's ticket to ride the Budweiser Shootout. M&M'S DRIVER ELLIOTT SADLER: This is your first Budweiser Shootout - what does it mean to you? "It means that my career has reached a new level. I knew signing on with RYR...

Two poles bought Sadler's ticket to ride the Budweiser Shootout.

M&M'S DRIVER ELLIOTT SADLER:

This is your first Budweiser Shootout - what does it mean to you?

"It means that my career has reached a new level. I knew signing on with RYR would bring new opportunities for me. and that is exactly what I am looking at this as. It also means bringing another car and additional time at the shop preparing for the race in an already busy schedule, however, I see this as extra track time and another opportunity to get the M&M'S car into Victory Lane."

Any strategy involved with the Budweiser Shootout?

"Yeah, to be the first one to cross the finish line. Really, it is the extra track time for me and I think we will be good in the draft. I hope to be there at the end - it's a fun race, all-star type in nature.

DAYTONA 500 MEANS MORE TO SADLER THAN JUST A RACE

The #38 team had the qualifying package in trim last season -- should we expect more of the same in 2004?

"We qualified well in Daytona last year for both races and at Talladega, so our qualifying package is good. . . Speed has never been a concern for us. RYR is a power house as far as the motor department goes."

You finished 2nd and 3rd in races at Daytona and Talladega. What will it take for Elliott Sadler to win the 2004 Daytona 500?

I have a crew chief who has won this race a time or two and I believe the more Todd and I work together the better we will become as a team. Todd realizes what I need to have on Saturday afternoons to be good on Sunday and that type of understanding only comes with experience, time and communication. We are building from f last year and I feel the M&M'S team is going to be well prepared this year - it should pay dividends for us."

There is some personal history for Elliott Sadler at Daytona isn't there?

"I think the earliest memory I have is from a Daytona 500 when I was about two or three years old. My parents and their friends brought us all to the race, and I can remember sitting about turn four watching the cars race. It's amazing to think that I have gotten to this level from being a little kid with a big dream, and if I won this race it would probably leave me at a loss for words - and if you know me, that's pretty big."

M&M'S CREW CHIEF TODD PARROTT:

What is your outlook on 2004 now that you are back full throttle?

"We all race to win and we all want trophies. The big trophy at the end of the year is what we all race for - to at least have a shot at the championship. After my leave of absence last year I found I was a little bit behind the eight ball as far as technology goes. Mike Ford and I have been working all winter and I think it's going to make us two teams to contend with in 2004. Remember - in my first two races with Dale Jarrett as his crew chief we won the Bud Shootout and the Daytona 500. We are hoping my first two Daytona's with Elliott will yield the same result."

ITEMS OF INTEREST:

FOUR TIMES A CHARM? A Robert Yates Racing Ford has won the Daytona 500 every four years. Davey Allison won the 1992 Daytona 500 and crew chief Todd Parrott has won the 500 twice in 1996 and 2000 with driver Dale Jarrett.

WHERE'S ALL THE COLOR GONE? "The Great Color Quest" is in full swing and it's up to consumers to help M&M'S find their colors. At the stroke of midnight on New Years Day M&M'S everywhere went black and white -"We are taking the M&M'S brand and the chocolate candy back to basics and back to the drawing board," said Doug Milne, marketing director, M&M'S Brand. "After more than 60 years as a sweet staple of American life, the M&M'S is about to undergo one of the most significant brand alterations in the history of modern marketing. The new black and white look is a whole new mix for us and one that we think will keep consumers talking."

ELLIOTT'S "BEST EATS"-- Sadler recently tapped into his journalistic and culinary side when he wrote a feature for Racing Milestones Track Guide and 2004 Preview titled Elliott's Best Eats. Sadler detailed his preferred restaurants throughout the NASCAR NEXTEL Series circuit as well as his favorite dishes to order at each establishment. The magazine is on newsstands and available through April.

DUB MAGAZINE-- Elliott Sadler and his fleet of vehicles are featured in issue Sixteen of DUB Magazine on newsstands now or at www.dubmagazine.com.

ROOF HATCH--Roof hatches have been installed in the entire fleet of Elliott Sadler's #38 M&M'S Fords for the 2004 season.

-m&mr-

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