Missing races tough on Sadler By Brett Borden LAS VEGAS (March 9, 1999) Hermie Sadler came into the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division season knowing it would be an uphill battle. Especially early on, when the series schedule ...
Missing races tough on Sadler By Brett Borden
LAS VEGAS (March 9, 1999) Hermie Sadler came into the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division season knowing it would be an uphill battle. Especially early on, when the series schedule conjoins with that of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, allowing the NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers to crash the NASCAR Busch Series' party, meaning fewer spots available for the Saturday regulars.
Sadler's new team has certainly seen their worst fears come to pass. In two of the season's first three races, the No. 72 MGM Brakes Chevrolet has failed to make the field, not even coming close on both occasions.
At Daytona, Sadler's qualifying time was 60th on the grid. He qualified a respectable 15th at Rockingham for the Alltel 200, but then placed 60th on the qualifying grid at Las Vegas. With so many names on the grid between himself and the last team to qualify, Sadler is feeling a little down about his predicament.
"I am just sick about missing another race and wish we could find a 'doctor' that could diagnose our illness," he said. "I began this year very optimistic but with the realization that we could possibly have a slow start as would be expected when you change teams. I just never dreamed we would miss races. You can only do so much in a shop or during test sessions to shake out the bugs and establish good communications with each other. When a new crew comes together, they really need 'race-condition-pressures' to hone their skills and we really haven't had that chance yet.
"My family, our fans, the crew, Ron Parker (Owner) and the sponsors are still behind us, so I can't help but have a positive attitude with that kind of support. We are going to do some serious analyses this week of several components, leaving no stone unturned until we find the problem. We're in a hole, but we can still dig ourselves out. I know how to win and run up front and I know Parker Racing does, so there's still hope. We had a good test at Cal Northrop, the team's crew chief, says that chances are the team may still have some more growing pains before things get better.
"This is my first year with this team and we've only made one race out of three this season," Northrop said. "Parker Racing is a veteran team, Hermie is a veteran driver but none of us have worked together before so it's just like a brand new, green team. We're in a 'building mode' and just like any well-established sports team that has new players, we need playing time. We're in a Catch-22 dilemma... we can't improve until we make races and we can't make races until we improve.
"Ron Parker has given us everything we need and gave us the go-ahead to do whatever it takes to find our problem. His support gives us confidence and motivation to find and fix what ails us. We tested in Atlanta and are determined to turn things around next weekend."
As for Parker, he says it is important for him at this time to keep the team's spirits up, without adding any additional pressures.
"I guess I've been in business and in racing long enough that I'm somewhat hardened to the challenges that come everyday," he said. "Sure I'm upset that we have missed 2 of the first 3 races of the season, but I'm not upset with Hermie or the crew. They're hard enough on themselves without having me come down on them.
"I've been in this series for over 10 years as a team owner, my company sponsored a BGN event for several years, and I've been a sponsor in the Winston Cup series with great veterans like Harry Gant and Benny Parsons. We've been to the Winner's Circle many times and we even missed a few races in our earlier years, but I have never seen the field as competitive as it is now. I chose the Busch Grand National Series because I feel as a sponsor, you get more bang for your buck; and as an owner, I enjoy developing the future stars that may have ambitions to move up to Winston Cup."
Source: NASCAR Online