Elliott Sadler Scores Top-Five Finish at Texas Motor Speedway FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) - Just hours after announcing his plans to run full time for Kevin Harvick Inc.'s (KHI) Nationwide Series program in 2011, Elliott Sadler scored...
Elliott Sadler Scores Top-Five Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) - Just hours after announcing his plans to run full time for Kevin Harvick Inc.'s (KHI) Nationwide Series program in 2011, Elliott Sadler scored a solid top-five finish in his sixth Truck Series race of the season. Sadler fought the handling of the No. 2 Realtree Chevrolet Silverado for a majority of the WinStar World Casino 350K, but rallied back to finish fifth at Texas Motor Speedway, earning the No. 2 team its 14th top-five finish of the season.
Starting on the front row in the No. 2 truck for the fifth time in 2010, Sadler took the green flag for the WinStar World Casino 350K from the second position. The first caution flag of the night waved before the completion of the second lap for a two-truck incident in turn four, with Sadler running in the fourth position. While under yellow, crew chief Ernie Cope asked Sadler about the handling of his truck, and he replied that the truck was good and he was running flat out, but didn't have any drafting help for the first two laps.
Restarting on lap six, Sadler and KHI teammate Ron Hornaday swapped back and forth for the third spot, with Hornaday eventually claiming the position. On lap 19, Sadler relayed to Cope that the truck was turning too tightly in the middle of the turns and needed more rear grip. Cope promised to improve the truck when the team made their first pit stop of the evening, but it wasn't until lap 42 that the field would see the yellow flag again.
Sadler entered the pits for his first scheduled pit stop of the evening in the fourth position, and the team gave him four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Gaining a position in the pits, Sadler restarted in third on lap 49, but he immediately slipped back into the sixth spot. Before Sadler could completely assess his truck, the yellow flag waved once again on lap 53 for a multi-truck wreck involving Hornaday, the damage from which ended the night for the No. 33 truck. Restarting on lap 60, Sadler dropped to seventh in only four laps and relayed to Cope that he didn't have enough rear grip and was turning too loosely. By lap 85, Sadler continued to run seventh, but was running lap times as fast as the leaders.
Improving to sixth by lap 91, the leaders began making green-flag pit stops on lap 94. Sadler brought the No. 2 Realtree Silverado down pit road on lap 96 while running second, and the team gave him four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Returning to the track in the 17th position as pit stops continued to cycle through the field, Sadler immediately stated that the truck was once again too tight and had lost the front grip that he'd had on the previous run. Moving back into the top 10 on lap 108, Sadler made the pass for seventh before the yellow flag waved for the final time on lap 122. Cope decided to undo the wedge adjustment he'd made on the previous pit stop, and also provided Sadler with four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
Sadler restarted in seventh on lap 127, but quickly slipped to 10th one lap later. However, his truck's handling began to come to him as the laps ticked by, and soon he was running the fastest laps on the track and picking off his competitors. On lap 136, Sadler made the pass for fifth, but even though he was closing the gap between himself and the trucks in front of him, Sadler and his competitors were too spread out for him to improve his position any more before the checkered flag waved.
"I would have liked to have done better tonight, but we were just too tight at the end," said Sadler after the race. "I can't complain though, Kevin and DeLana [Harvick] continue to give me great equipment week after week. I qualified on the front row, finished in the top five, and was competitive the entire race. That's all I can ask for. I'm really looking forward to my future with KHI. I'll be back in the truck in Homestead for the season finale and I can't wait."
Kyle Busch took the checkered flag, followed by Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, and Todd Bodine. The No. 2 remains fifth in the Owner's Point Standings.
The Truck Series hits the track again on Friday, November 12th for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race can be seen live on SPEED at 7:30 p.m. ET.