Texas: Ford - Elliott Sadler interview

This Week in Ford Racing March 25, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Elliott Sadler , driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus, registered the first top-10 finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup career at Texas Motor Speedway when he finished 10th in his rookie...

This Week in Ford Racing
March 25, 2003

NASCAR Winston Cup

Elliott Sadler , driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus, registered the first top-10 finish of his NASCAR Winston Cup career at Texas Motor Speedway when he finished 10th in his rookie season of 1999. Sadler, who qualified second for this race last year, goes into the weekend 13th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings.

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus:

YOU'VE SAID BEFORE THAT TEXAS IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS.

"Yeah, I feel like that's a track I can go to and be competitive every time. I really enjoy that race track for some reason. Since the first lap I ever took on it back in 1997, I've loved going around that place. I've been very successful there in Busch cars with one of the first two poles that were ever there (1998 Coca-Cola 300) and got close to my first Winston Cup pole last year, but I got nipped right at the end by Bill Elliott. I've had some very fast race cars there, so I just really enjoy that race track. I think it fits my driving style. The people there are always so nice in welcoming the NASCAR community to the race track and surrounding areas and it's just a fun place to go."

IT SEEMS YOU ALWAYS HEAR TALK ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TEXAS SHOULD HAVE A SECOND NASCAR WINSTON CUP DATE. WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO TO TEXAS TWICE A YEAR, IF THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF?

"I would but it's because I run well there. There are some places that we go to twice that I'd only like to go once because maybe I don't run as well there as I should. It's tough to ask a driver that. Overall, we need to do what's best for the sport and the sponsors. The economy is not great right now, so we need to do all we can to get each sponsor the maximum exposure. I think that should be the number one priority, but as far as driver's opinion, we should probably be number two because we want to run wherever we think we can win the races, so our opinions will change week to week. I'll stay out of that deal. Wherever they decide we need to go race, that's what we're gonna do."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS WEEKEND?

"The 88 tested there and we're gonna try to go off some of their notes and take what they learned. Hopefully, we can apply those and have a good weekend. Atlanta is pretty much a sister track to Texas and we qualified third and finished sixth there, so we considered that a pretty good weekend. We're taking the same car to Texas and, hopefully, it should be just as good. That's what we're planning on, and I think we've got another good shot at a top five. Horsepower is definitely gonna make a difference there. Doug and all the guys in the motor shop are giving me the best motors they can for this weekend because they know how important that is at this place. I'm gonna try to take care of it and, hopefully, we'll have some good success. We'll just have to wait and see. At least we're taking a car that we've already raced this year. We know the history of it and we know what we think makes it run, so we'll go from there."

YOU WERE AFFILIATED WITH THE AIR FORCE FOR TWO YEARS WITH THE WOOD BROTHERS. CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FEELING OF HAVING TO RACE ON SUNDAY WITH THE WAR GOING ON?

"It was kind of strange, but being in association with the Air Force I feel like we're in great hands. I was fortunate to see a little of what goes on behind the scenes the last two years and to see what they go through. The training they do to prepare themselves for the situation we're in now is unbelievable. I feel that we're in great hands and I have great respect for those young kids and the way they can take on so much pressure and do the precise things they're doing. It's unbelievable. It was kind of strange to race and then listen to the radio all the way home for the latest updates on what's going on overseas, but I'm definitely 100 percent supportive of them and everything they're doing. I wish people would remember that this is how we got our freedom of speech and the freedom to make decisions each and every morning when we get up. Nobody gave it to us. We had to fight for our right to do that and I just wish Americans will remember that and really support the young people that are over there right now. They really need that in this time with everything that's going on."

YOU'RE IN A POSITION AS AN ATHLETE TO PROVIDE SOME ENTERTAINMENT FOR PEOPLE DURING THESE TIMES. THAT MUST FEEL GOOD.

"That's exactly right. Mike Helton talked to us in the driver's meeting at Bristol and said that exact same thing. He said for us to put on a good show and in the pre-race activities to remember that millions of Americans were gonna be watching us. I think NASCAR does a great job of representing America and showing how much we care for our country. We realize that we might be a release for some people and even some of the Armed Forces who might be watching, if they're taking a break over there, so we want to put on a good show. We're gonna keep those troops in our hearts when we race, but the whole NASCAR community is definitely thinking about what's going on over in Iraq."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Mike Helton , Elliott Sadler