Martinsville: GEM statement on Sadler injury

STATEMENT BY Mark McArdle- Vice President and Managing Director of Competition, Gillett Evernham Motorsports MARTINSVILLE, Va., (March 28, 2008) -- In response to the announcement that Elliott Sadler sustained an off-track injury that makes his...

STATEMENT BY Mark McArdle- Vice President and Managing Director of Competition, Gillett Evernham Motorsports

MARTINSVILLE, Va., (March 28, 2008) -- In response to the announcement that Elliott Sadler sustained an off-track injury that makes his status in question for today's practice for the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Mark McArdle, vice president and managing director of competition of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, has issued the following statement:

ON THE STATUS OF ELLIOTT SADLER'S CONDITION? "The situation that we're finding ourselves in is that the driver of our No.19 McDonald's Dodge -- Elliott Sadler - sustained a low-back injury away from the racetrack during the course of the week. He's finding himself in quite a bit of discomfort, so what we've done is put Dennis Setzer in a position of stand-by.

"It's high likely that Dennis will do some laps in the car here during today's practice session and get the car dialed in for us in race configuration. Elliott's pretty uncomfortable in any kind of sitting position this morning. We'll have to make a decision as the day goes on as to exactly what our plans will be with regard to putting Elliott in the car for qualifying or not. We're going to take it on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis for the course of the rest of the weekend.

"What's important of course is doing what's best for Elliott to make sure that we don't exaggerate or exasperate his injuries any further. So we're taking medical advice to ensure that we do the right things in that regard.

"We're pleased that Dennis has accepted our request to put himself in a stand-by role. He's an outstanding Dodge driver. Of course it's a natural fit for us at Gillett Evernham and we'd like to thank his ownership in the truck series for giving him permission to put him in that status for us. Obviously, with his pedigree at this race track, it was an easy choice as to who to ask to stand-by. We've got him fitted to the car and trying to work on the logistics of being able to go back and forth between drivers - if that proves to be the right thing to do. We just want to make sure that we kept you folks informed on what's going on here this morning."

HOW DID HE INJURY HIS BACK? "Apparently he had some injury after doing some routine for the week. Apparently during the course of that, something went slightly wrong and I think he exasperated it later that same day with a different sporting injury of some kind.

"We really don't know too much detail about the nature of the injury other it's just low back and seems to be involving a lot of nerve endings."

WHEN DID IT HAPPEN? On Wednesday.

WHO WILL MAKE THE DECISION TO IF ELLIOT RETURNS TO THE CAR? "It will be Elliott's call working with me in trying to make the best decision that we can. I think right now our inclination will be that we begin practice with Dennis. Certainly the possibility exists that as we go from race mode to qualifying trim, that at that point, we put Elliott in the car for a lap or two to put him in a position where John (Darby) and NASCAR would be happy (for Elliott) to qualify the car and then make our decision as to whether he will qualify based on his condition."

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 19 McDonalds Dodge Charger: "My back started to hurt late Wednesday and the pain was more noticeable when I got up Thursday. It was a normal week for me, so that's what really gets me more than anything.

"Nothing hurts a driver more than not being in his race car with his team. My goal is to be better by Sunday so I can race."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dennis Setzer , Elliott Sadler