Pocono II: Ford - Elliott Sadler press conference

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd) THE 38 AND 88 WERE OFF IN PRACTICE BUT WORKED TOGETHER AND CHANGED SHOCKS TO GET BETTER. "It was the worst hour-and-a-half of my life the first hour-and-a-half of practice. I mean, I was...

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

THE 38 AND 88 WERE OFF IN PRACTICE BUT WORKED TOGETHER AND CHANGED SHOCKS TO GET BETTER.

"It was the worst hour-and-a-half of my life the first hour-and-a-half of practice. I mean, I was like 40th on the sheet and after we qualified so good here in the first race I was about to commit suicide during practice. The guys worked on it and we got some help from DJ and the 88 guys and then we made a really good qualifying run right there at the end of practice and finished sixth-quickest. We relayed that message back to him and adjusted on it a little bit more and now all of us are sitting here in the top 10. That's what teamwork is supposed to be about. We don't always want to try to do it this way because I'm gonna have a lot more gray hair than I want the next two or three years, but it's great when teammates can work that well together. Now both of us have something to smile about with a great third-place starting position for us and an eighth for him. It's a lot of fun then for both of us."

YOU LED A LOT OF LAPS HERE THE FIRST RACE. DOES THAT GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE COMING BACK?

"We were very fortunate to lead a lot of laps here the first race - I think the second-most out of everybody - so I do have a lot more confidence coming back to this track now the second time. This is a place I did not like to come to before this year, but Robert and Doug have persuaded me that this is one of their favorite tracks to come to and I think I understand why when I get to get on the gas pedal on these long straightaways. Now this is a place that I feel I can win at. We were sitting at the shop last week talking about places now that we can come up to that we think we can run good at and this was one I X'd out. You would have never seen that from me earlier, but this is a great race car. This is the car I ran at Chicago and finished in the top 10 with and it's running good again this weekend. I'm looking forward to good things. I think I've got just as good a chance as anybody to win this race. It's not the same car we had here the first race. Yes, that was a great race car, but it was not good enough to win so we brought back a different race car. We think this one is good enough to win and we're gonna try to get it adjusted as best we can tomorrow and see what happens Sunday."

HOW CAN YOU GET SO FAR OFF THE SECOND TIME AROUND?

"That's a good question (laughing). This setup was nothing like the first race we were here at all. We went to Indy and tested two weeks ago and were very, very fast and we decided to bring our Indy qualifying setup to Pocono and I can tell you right now that does not work for our race team. We decided to come with something different because we were not on the pole last race. We wanted to try something different and it did not work out for us, so we had to really go back to the basics and get back close to our first race setup for qualifying and just kind of go from there. I'm just really proud of my guys. I've never been many places that you can be that horrible in practice and actually work on it and make it that much better. For them to give me a car able to qualify third and for the eighth time this year we are the fastest Ford on the grid on Friday, so I'm very, very proud of Raymond - a first-year crew chief - for that. He's given us a lot of top 10 starts and brings our average down a little bit. The guys are doing a great job on Friday, we just have to start giving ourselves a chance and getting our luck a little better for Sunday."

WILL THIS HELP YOU GUYS TURN THE CORNER? "You've heard this from drivers before and, you guys know me, I don't try to blow smoke to any of you all, but I honestly feel like we had such a great test at Indy last week that it's gonna change the way the 88 and the 38 run from here on out. I'm not just saying that because we both qualified well, I think you're gonna see it come Sunday and everywhere else we go. We found out that a lot of places we were behind we had been leapfrogged a bunch, I think, in the last year or so. Robert and Doug knew that and we kind of got our nose down to the grindstone and learned a lot of stuff in the past month and have just been able to put it on the race track. Today is kind of the first day of our new way of thinking. We've kind of gotten back to basics on a lot of things, but we've changed our bodies around a bunch and we think that's gonna help us a lot, especially trying to compete in nose-to-tail racing come Sunday. We think we're gonna be a lot better off than what we have been."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE 88'S PROBLEMS HAVE AFFECTED YOUR TEAM?

"I think it's been tough on me personally because I look up to DJ so much as a driver and as a person. So, yeah it has drug us down some. We were sometimes scared that if something worked for our car, we were sometimes scared to go and tell them because it might mess theirs up. That's the way we were during practice. 'Hey man, try this. This helped.' Then I'll go to him and say, 'Make sure you adjust your own car, but this might help your car if you think about it.' He tried some stuff like I had in my car my last run and it helped his car obviously for qualifying, but, yeah, I think so. You lose some confidence there because you're not sure if you're giving the right information. Are you sharing the right stuff? It's just a hard deal to do, so, yeah I think so, but I think they've got his train back on the tracks. I think you're gonna see him run a lot better here the next few weeks. We've had some great tests. We have been testing a ton the last month, but it always takes a little bit of time for that to show up on the race track. Hopefully here in the next month or so you'll kind of see us swing back around and get Yates back where they need to be."

-ford racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler