Steady Sadler sneaks into top-10 By Brett Borden BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Jan. 4, 1999) For NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver Hermie Sadler, the 1998 season was like deja vu all over again. In 1997, the Emporia, Va., native ...
Steady Sadler sneaks into top-10 By Brett Borden
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Jan. 4, 1999) For NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver Hermie Sadler, the 1998 season was like deja vu all over again. In 1997, the Emporia, Va., native finished 10th in the final standings with 3,340 points, no wins and two top-five finishes. In 1998, he posted those exact same numbers. Sadler, the 1993 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, became teammates with younger brother Elliott this past year. But while Elliott Sadler went on to capture two more series victories (the fourth and fifth of his career) and eventually a seat in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Hermie went through a fourth consecutive season without visiting Victory Lane. The reason Hermie was able to finish in the top-10 at all was consistency. His worst finish of the season was 35th in the Coca-Cola 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, and that came after a crash that left him with a dislocated tibia in his right leg. Sadler played off the old good-luck adage "Break a leg," as he managed to finish second in the Galaxy Foods 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway the next week. It was the best medicine available for Sadler in his situation. He survived a battle of attrition, as well as a painful 300 laps, to come within 1.645 seconds of his long-awaited third series victory. "It's going to be a little sore tonight because I sure gave it a little bit of a workout," he said of his leg afterward. "But if I get a top-five finish like that with a hurt leg every week, then that's OK with me." Top-fives, unfortunately, were few and far behind in 1998 for Sadler. He finished 10th in the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his fourth top-10 finish in 12 starts up to that point in the season. The last 19 races, though, he would earn that distinction just once more -- in the ACDelco 200 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Sadler finished third that day, while brother Elliott won the race and Kevin Lepage took runner-up honors. Next season, Sadler will be behind the wheel of the No. 72 Detroit Gasket Chevrolet with Cal Northrop Jr. turning the wrenches. Sadler expects their relationship to go smoothly through the many winding turns of a full season. "Cal has learned everything about preparing a car from the ground up," Sadler said. "I like the fact that he says he's still learning and that's important to me because even though I've been in the Busch Series since 1992, I feel I'm always learning. When a crew chief or driver quits learning, that's when he's in trouble."
Source: NASCAR Online