Sadler Made First Sprint Cup Start 10 Years Ago But This Time Powdered Donuts Aren't On The Menu CONCORD, NC -- Ten years ago this weekend, Elliott Sadler made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the 600-mile race at...
Sadler Made First Sprint Cup Start 10 Years Ago But This Time Powdered Donuts Aren't On The Menu
CONCORD, NC -- Ten years ago this weekend, Elliott Sadler made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the 600-mile race at Charlotte. Driving for owner Gary Bechtel, the No. 98 OP/Tower Clothing car started 31st and blew an engine just past the halfway point to finish 42nd.
But, the Emporia, Virginia native learned a valuable dietary lesson that day which he plans to employ this weekend making his 333rd-career start; in the same race at the same track.
The No. 19 Best Buy Dodge driver and team hope to capitalize on the Lowe's Motor Speedway test earlier this month when Sadler posted the fastest time; then backed that up with a pole-winning effort for the Sprint Showdown last Saturday.
Elliott Sadler Quotes
Comment about your first start: "Wow, that seems like 20 years ago. The biggest thing I remembered was the race started later in the day than Nationwide Series ones. I never ate before a race because they were so short and they started at noon.
"Here I was making my first Cup start, the longest race of the year, with a later start time and I hadn't eating a thing -- like I always did back then. Well, just before the halfway point I was absolutely starving. So, I asked the crew to please get me something to eat on the next pit stop. All they had were powdered donuts.
"They pass this white powered donut through the window and there I am - with gloves on and full-faced helmet -- trying to eat a white powered donut while driving a race car. You can imagine what that, and I, looked like."
"Ten years later, my pre-race ritual now consists of lots of rest, fluids and a good meal of roasted chicken. Going hungry in a race car is something I have not done since that day in 1998."
What does it take to win the Coca-Cola 600: "First, you have to be mentally prepared to run that race. It is the longest one on the circuit, you start when it's daylight and it ends under the lights at dark. It is a totally different mindset than any other race we run.
"Second, you have got have a car that will go the distance. The engine takes a lot of abuse going that many RPMs for that long. I like what we brought to the recent test at Lowe's and Kasey (Kahne) showed we have the right equipment to win there by what he did in the All-Star Race.
Low down at Lowe's for Sadler: Has made 19 starts earning a pole (fall 05) leading a total of 189 laps while completing 5940 of 6887 circuits. Has one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
Car Info: The team will use GEM No. 233; last used at Texas and Las Vegas