SHORT TRACK, BIG PICTURE FOR M&M'S AND SADLER IN BRISTOL CHARLOTTE, NC (March 29, 2005) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to the World's Fastest Half-Mile, Bristol Motor Speedway, for the first short track race of the...
SHORT TRACK, BIG PICTURE FOR M&M'S AND SADLER IN BRISTOL
CHARLOTTE, NC (March 29, 2005) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to the World's Fastest Half-Mile, Bristol Motor Speedway, for the first short track race of the season. Sadler will pilot his No. 38 M&M'S® Ford Taurus at the .533-mile facility where he captured his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in March 2001.
For Sadler and crew chief Todd Parrott, each of the first 26 races of the 2005 season resembles a single piece of the puzzle in returning to the NEXTEL Cup Chase for the Championship. Some pieces prove to be better fits than others, but the Virginia native knows consistency plays key in the big picture and just seeing the checker flag is often the biggest accomplishment of the day. Sadler enters the fifth race of the season solidly in the top-10 currently in the eighth place position, 198 points behind current leader Jimmie Johnson.
Quoting M&M'S® Driver Elliott Sadler:
On racing at Bristol-- "Bristol is a track that has a lot of character. As a driver we race on top of each other and there is only room for one groove right around the bottom. Things happen so fast there that you can be driving off turn two and get right in the middle of a wreck that started in turns three and four."
"Bristol has such tight racing that you are almost forced into a lot of the on-track battles you don't want to be in. There is a lot of side-by-side racing so there is not too much giving and taking going on. But, that's Bristol and you just have to go in there elbows up, hard-nosed and be ready to race the hardest race of your life. Anything can happen at Bristol-it's the nature of the beast."
On short track racing and making the Chase -- "We have to run every single lap. Each weekend we are going to race the race track and stay out of trouble and see every checker flag that we can. When you come to a track like Bristol, you know there are plenty of opportunities to beat and bang with other cars presenting more chances to get yourself in trouble."
"Every track we go to is crucial in making or staying in the top-10 in points. Last year if you look at what we did as a team at Bristol, we stayed out of trouble and finished in the top-15 in the spring and then got a top-five under the lights. The two years before that I didn't finish three out of four races and I've said it before I think that limiting your DNF (Did Not Finish) is our 'X' factor for returning to the Chase."
From March, 2001 - Sadler's thoughts after winning his first NEXTEL Cup Series race at BMS--"It's hard to put in words what this day means to me. Bristol has been my favorite race track since I used to come here when it was just cement grandstands on both sides of the race track. We'd drive up from Emporia - all the way up highway 58 to come here. Nothing takes precedence over the last 10 laps today, the feeling I had. I didn't know whether to cry or shake. All I could see was John Andretti and what he was doing for the Petty organization. But this is a big day for my career and especially the Wood Brothers."