Sadler returns to victory lane with Phoenix 200 win

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Amanda Vincent, NASCAR correspondent

Elliott Sadler drove the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet the checkered flag in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday to claim his first series when since October 1998 and his first since returning to the series for full-time competition in 2011.

"It's been a long time since I've been to victory lane," Sadler said. "(Crew chief) Luke (Lambert) made some great calls and great adjustments. Just a good team effort."

Brad Keselowski finished second, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was third.

"It's been a great start," Keselowski said after finishing in the runner-up position for the second-consecutive race. "Two second place finishes -- that's something to be proud of."

Kevin had just an awesome car all day long.

Richard Childress

Sadler's RCR teammate, Kevin Harvick in the No. 33 Chevrolet, dominated the race, leading 107 laps of the 200-lap event after taking the lead from Denny Hamlin in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on lap 53. He led most of the rest of the way until pit strategy during a caution that came out for debris with 37 laps to go relegated Harvick to seventh position for the restart.

"Kevin had just an awesome car all day long," owner Richard Childress said.

When the race went back to green, Harvick quickly made his way back toward the front until he spun and scraped the wall with 31 laps to go. He managed to save the car, but slipped back to the seventh spot he restarted in.

"The 38 (Kasey Kahne) got loose and we about spun out and got behind," Harvick said of the incident.

He wound up finishing fifth, just behind another Richard Childress Racing driver, Austin Dillon, who drove the No. 3 Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish.

Hamlin, who led the first 52 laps of the race, with the exception of four early laps led by Trevor Bayne in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, continued to run second to Harvick much of the remainder of the race. But he faded in the late going, falling to ninth position by the finish.

Victory lane: race winner Elliott Sadler
Victory lane: race winner Elliott Sadler

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

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Series NASCAR-NS
Tags chevrolet, childress, featured, harvick, keselowski, sadler, stenhouse, vincent