ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) WHEN YOU ARE COMING UP AS A DRIVER ARE THERE CERTAIN UNSPOKEN RULES THAT YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO RESPECT? "Yeah, I mean as you come in as a rookie and stuff you definitely need to respect all...
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
WHEN YOU ARE COMING UP AS A DRIVER ARE THERE CERTAIN UNSPOKEN RULES THAT YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO RESPECT? "Yeah, I mean as you come in as a rookie and stuff you definitely need to respect all of the guys that are around you especially the guys that have been doing this a long time. How you race them 99 percent of the time is how they are going to race you. My personal opinion on what happened between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Petty is you know Kyle was trying to get out of his way and Denny just caught him a lap faster then he thought. I don't know, maybe Kyle lifted a little bit trying to pull down and they just hit each other. I know for a fact that Denny Hamlin has a lot of respect for Kyle Petty, because we all do for what he's done for this sport both on the track and off the track, so I don't think this is a disrespect thing. I don't think it was a taking him out or anything like that kind of purpose. It's just two guys not clear on which way they were going to go and it just caused problems for both of them. I know that Kyle is frustrated trying to stay in the top-35 in points, and I know that Denny is very frustrated tying to win a championship. Both guys are racing hard and trying to do their best and get the best points and the best position they can but also trying not to tear up their race cars every week."
WHEN YOU WERE COMING UP DO YOU REMEMBER A DRIVER OR TWO WHERE YOU THOUGHT TO YOURSELF, 'MAN, I REALLY HAVE TO REMEMBER THE WAY THIS GUY WORKS' "You know Dale Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd to name a few are old school racers. If you hit them they are going to hit you. So, you always were very careful around certain guys and if you slipped up and got into them a little bit, well they are probably going to come back and hit you too. Just good old school guys like that. But if you paid them respect and you raced them like you should then you would get that in return. You see a lot of that in this sport -- probably more than you guys recognize. How you race somebody is how you get raced. Some guys that come in now, some of these young guys are idiots and just race three and four wide and bump you and move you around, well that's how they get raced by everybody else too, so you can make your learning curve hard or you can make it easy."
SO IT'S ALL ABOUT HOW THEY RACE YOU AS OPPOSED TO WHETHER YOU'RE A CHASER OR NOT? "You know, this has been a question every year since the Chase started. How do you race the Chase guys? Should you pull over, should you do this? When I was in the Chase in 2004 it's your responsibility as a racecar driver to race how you would normally race. Just because you are in the Chase doesn't mean that these guys are going to pull out of your way. They shouldn't -- we're all racing for something. Whether it's a win, the top 35 in points or whether it's some guys looking for a ride for next year. We all have our purposes and feel like our backs are against the wall, especially this late in the season and if you haven't had a good season. But it's your responsibility as a guy in the Chase to race people smart. It's not going to hurt us as much if both of us get in a wreck together it's going to hurt you because you are trying to win a championship. I think yes it is everybody's responsibility to all 43 guys, but I think more pressure is on those 12 guys in the Chase."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RACE NEXT WEEK AT TALLADEGA? "I don't know. We'll see when we get there. The test was pretty hairy. A lot of bump drafting is going to be going on -- a lot. You can't see as good with the new car as you could with the old car. The greenhouse is a lot bigger. The wing is a lot bigger, so it's going to be pretty interesting. The rules have made it, you know with this new car, kind of made the cars like with the old rules where the closing rate can get really big and nobody is able to get away. It's going to be a lot of double and triple file racing. We'll see how it works out."
-credit: dodge motorsports