Daytona 500: Sadler, Fox viewpoint

View from the driver's seat with Elliott Sadler... On the Daytona 500: "The Daytona 500 is one of the races I definitely want to win before my racing career is over. Last year I finished second and the race before it I was third. It really is...

View from the driver's seat with Elliott Sadler...

On the Daytona 500: "The Daytona 500 is one of the races I definitely want to win before my racing career is over. Last year I finished second and the race before it I was third. It really is the Great American Race - the Superbowl of Racing. To win that means you have truly joined the ranks of the greatest racers of all time. I think we have a shot at it and I think we can win it this year.  Our test went real well earlier this year, and we have taken the car to the wind tunnel and worked really hard to make our cars as good as we can get them for this race.

On his first race with "M&M's"® as a sponsor: "My first race with "M&M's" is going to be pretty special. "M&M's" brand has been in racing for a long time, and even thought they may not have enjoyed the success on the track they may have wanted to, they have been very loyal to the sport of NASCAR. They have a ton of merchandise out there from years past and since the "M" Characters are so fun there are a lot of young fans that buy that stuff. I think it will help me bridge the gap from the "M&M's" fans from years before to fans of our team since I am young too."

On avoiding "The Big One": "I don't know that there is any one clear cut answer to that one. I think there is a lot of luck involved and I know for myself especially, I will make sure I know who I am running with and which drivers are around me at all times. One mistake can take out a lot of cars - last year I was running sixth and watched 'The Big One' happen in my rear view mirror - sometimes it's better to be lucky."

On restrictor plate racing: "Some people say restrictor plate racing is not real racing - but who has the best motor and aerodynamic car - but trust me, the driver has a lot to do with it. Racing for 500 miles at 200 mph takes a ton of concentration because one mistake can end up costing a lot of money and cars to be wrecked. As drivers we try to choose the right line to race in, choose our drafting partners wisely and be ready to tell the crew chief what changes the car may need."

View from the pit box with Crew Chief Raymond Fox III...

On calling his first race as a crew chief with Elliott Sadler: "I will be pretty nervous when race morning comes. I called a few races last year towards the end of the year with this team so that part will be really easy - I have known these guys and worked with them for a long time, so we won't have any communication problems. I think every crew chief gets butterflies when race morning comes, hoping that it's your day to win. One thing I am confident in for sure is the fact that we have a good enough car and motor to go out and win the race - knowing that is going to be a confidence builder when the green flag waves."

View from above the speedway with Spotter Brett Griffin: On Restrictor Place Wrecks... "Elliott's vantage point when he's in the middle of the pack is through everyone else's windshield. If there's smoke ahead he cannot see anything. My job is to tell him where the cars are wrecking - and in my split second communication he has to make an even faster decision. It's up to him to make the decision - I'm there to help out.

On the Daytona 500... "As a spotter, working the Daytona 500, or any restrictor plate race is like walking on nails the entire time. I have to watch the big pack with 40 cars on top of each other and work to keep Elliott in the fast line and out of harms way. A lot of times during restrictor plate races the wrecks happen when cars are making their way on and off of pit road. The smaller fuel cells means more pit stops. That means they'll be more pit stops, which allows the big pack to break into smaller packs. But, that also provides more opportunities for drivers, spotters and crews to make a mistake. Everyone needs to be on their game in order to win."

"M&M's"® Racing Bits and Pieces...

Elliott Sadler Appearances:
Monday, Feb. 10th Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach, FL PRN Fast Talk With Benny Parsons 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Tuesday, Feb. 11th Winn Dixie 1415 S. Nova Rd. Autographs 4pm - 6pm

"M&M's Trivia": Did you know that if you lined up all the "M&M's"® produced each year, you would be able to make almost 661,946 laps around Daytona International Speedway. That would be like running the Daytona 500 more than 3,300 times.

TV Times: FOX - Sunday February 17th, 2003 pre-race 12-1pmET/ Daytona 500 live 1pmET
Radio: MRN Radio: 12:45pm ET


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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Benny Parsons , Elliott Sadler