Elliott Sadler's bid for a NASCAR championship just slipped a little further away. The No. 38 Robert Yates Racing Ford team had a disastrous day at Talladega Superspeedway. "We had a long day," said Sadler. "We had battery problems and ran hot...
Elliott Sadler's bid for a NASCAR championship just slipped a little further away. The No. 38 Robert Yates Racing Ford team had a disastrous day at Talladega Superspeedway.
"We had a long day," said Sadler. "We had battery problems and ran hot all day. Every problem we could have as a race team we had it today, so to come out 22nd it could have been a lot, lot worse. I think it I hadn't flipped or wrecked we might have been 11th or 12th so that's tough.
"That puts us in a big hole for the championship."
Lady luck seems to have left the No. 38 pit. After an outstanding season that assured Elliott Sadler a place in the Chase for the Championship, Sadler has had two ill-starred weeks. At Dover, Sadler cut down a tire late in the race, and then had to serve a penalty for speeding on pit road sending him from the top-five to 20th.
This week, the bad mojo just kept mounting. The No. 38 Ford was a power- house in the races initial laps but battery and engine issues plagued Sadler. After running in the top five and competing for the lead, the No. 38 began experiencing battery problems at lap 60.
They had to make a second pit stop to replace the battery, slipping them from the top five to 34th. The battery issues could not be healed, as the team had to change it another two times during the event.
From there, you could almost see the black cloud lingering over their pit. Overheating problems on lap 144 saw the hood come up on Sadler's ride as his team made a lengthy pit stop to try and alleviate the problem.
When Sadler restarted, he had fallen out of the draft. And just when it seemed like it couldn't get any worse, the stars aligned and the racing Gods hit Sadler with a bit of déjà vu.
On the last lap, as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was taking the checkered flag, Sadler was bumped out of line by the No. 10 of Scott Riggs, flipping him down the racetrack once before he landed right side up on the infield grass.
"I'd like to finish a race at Talladega once on all four tires," commented a dejected Sadler.
The costly mistakes earned Sadler a 22nd place result, and he freefalls from sixth to eighth in points, 166 markers out of first.
"We know we probably can't win now," said Sadler. "But we still have a chance to get in the top five and that would be a great accomplishment for this race team. We're not giving up. We haven't all year and we've got some unfinished business left."