ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) NOTE: Sadler will make his 281st career start Sunday in the Subway 500 and his 10th start in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger. The 31-year-old Emporia, Va., native will be making...
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Sadler will make his 281st career start Sunday in the Subway 500 and his 10th start in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger. The 31-year-old Emporia, Va., native will be making his 16th start at Martinsville Speedway.
COMMENT ON RACING AT MARTINSVILLE "I've been coming here since I was a kid watching NASCAR events. I remember coming here watching my uncle race sportsman cars. To come back here and race is very special. Any time we can race in the Commonwealth of Virginia it's good. We've been running pretty well in the past few races. We had a pretty good test last week at Caraway, and I'm looking forward to the race. I wish we could have qualified better, but we'll work with what we've got and make the best of it. The guys have been working their butts off, and we've been very competitive, but we just haven't had much luck. I can't think of a better place to turn it around than right here. These guys have run good here in the past and so have I. A lot of people will travel up here Sunday from Emporia, Va., and I want to do a good job for them. A win here and they'd probably tear down the grandstands. That would be very special for me. I've raced so much here. This is one of the races I kind of highlight on the schedule."
COMMENT ON HAVING WARD BURTON BACK IN THE FIELD "Oh man, that's awesome. I've been friends with Ward a long time. I remember watching him race at South Boston Speedway way back when. It's neat to see him back. He definitely deserves it. He's a great driver, a great person, a great spokesperson for our sport. Maybe he'll run good this weekend and somebody will give him a break and put him in a high-quality car. I'd like to see him have a good run."
COMMENT ON KASEY KAHNE'S RECENT HOT STREAK "Kasey is looking at it like he needs to go out and win every race and lead every lap. That's what his team is trying to do. They're not trying to critique it. Ray (car owner Evernham) is not letting us do that. He's telling us to go out and run as hard as we can and let the points take care of themselves. With the bad luck the 9 team had at Kansas and Dover and places like that it definitely put them in the hole, but it's not over yet. We've got five races to go and anything can happen. With the way they've been running the past few weeks it's been very impressive. We've got three mile and a half tracks left out of the five, and Kasey has already won at two of them this season. Some good tracks are coming up for the 9 car and I expect them to make a good run at it."
DO YOU SEE OPTIMISM ON THE 9 TEAM? "I'd say they're very optimistic going to Atlanta and Texas. He's always been good at Texas, and he hauled the mail testing at Homestead. They've got a good car ready for Homestead. I'd say things are looking good for the 9 team. They've just got to go run their race and not worry about anybody else. Kasey is staying very cool, calm and collected about it. He's not worried about it. He just knows he's got a job to do and he's going to go do it."
HAS KASEY TALKED TO YOU ABOUT THE CHASE? "We talked about it a little bit before The Chase started, but he hasn't been rattled by it at all. He had to race his way in. I think a lot of pressure was taken off of him by doing that. Now he's just having fun and racing hard."
DID YOU GIVE HIM ANY ADVICE? "After being in The Chase myself and knowing what he's going through now, you've got to forget what everybody else is doing. If you try to just race the 31 and try to do pit strategy that they're not doing and get caught up in what they're doing, sometimes you lose focus on what your team needs to do. We got caught up in that. I did as a driver, trying to count positions on the racetrack and stuff like that. I know it goes through a lot of drivers' heads. They always want to know what everybody else is doing, but I think if you just pay attention to what you're doing and rely on that and trust your crew chief to make the right calls on pit strategy and stuff like that you should be fine."
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE SUCCESS OF THE 31 TEAM? "The 31 is doing a good job. Jeff Burton's got a lot of experience. A lot of new fans don't remember Jeff Burton when he drove the No. 99 Exide car and kicked everyone's butts every week. He's a great racecar driver. He's smart. He doesn't get himself in bad situations, and they're doing what it takes right now to be successful. They've run good on every different style of racetrack. To outrun Jeff Burton this year you're going to have to win races. These guys right behind him in the points are going to have to win races because he's shown a lot of resilience. His team has the last five races, too. They're not going to slip, and they're not going to panic. You've got to go chase him."
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Riggs qualified 17th fastest for the Subway 500, but the team changed engines Saturday morning. Riggs will now start Sunday's race at the rear of the 43-car field.
"We've got two good teammates, and that's really important now. It looks like Kasey and his team hit on something in the first practice, so we can lean on them for where to start in Happy Hour. You usually put your best guess for the race setup in for the second practice and usually you don't want to change much between the second practice and the race. You want to get a long run in practice on your race setup for tomorrow. We'll probably have to make some last-minute decisions after the last practice is over today.
"I was coming hard off turn two on the first lap of practice this morning, and it just stopped. It didn't smell like oil. It actually smelled like power steering fluid. It was light-colored white smoke that came out of it real fast. I thought maybe the belt or power steering line broke. I pushed the clutch in and coasted to the pits. They opened the hood and said it was in the motor."
-credit: dodge motorsports