Charlotte II: Pole winner Sadler interview

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st) "We're definitely on a roll. Kevin and those guys are just amazing - how good they're working together. We're so pumped up right now. We're just finishing each other's sentences and we've...

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st)

"We're definitely on a roll. Kevin and those guys are just amazing - how good they're working together. We're so pumped up right now. We're just finishing each other's sentences and we've really been working so good together the last few weeks. We just did miss it last week to have three poles in a row and to come back here to Charlotte and do it at home is a great, great feeling. I started second here twice - once to Newman and once to Jimmie Johnson, so to outrun two class acts like that tonight and actually get the pole - kind of flip the script a little bit - is a great accomplishment. This is a pole that I really, really wanted. We have a lot of guys from the fab shop that come over and are able to watch this race and are able to watch qualifying, so it's pretty cool to do it here of all places." WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAP? "I can't hold my breath for two laps like some of these guys can. I'm one and done all the time. I always tell Doug that - if I can't get it the first lap I'm sorry because usually I scare myself half to death and I'm not gonna do it the second lap. Yeah, that was the plan from the get-go - to go out there and run one lap and run it as good as we can, as hard as we can. I held it wide open coming to the green, so I knew I had a lot of momentum coming to the green. I tried to hold it wide open in one and two and slid up a little bit and maybe gave up something, but really got through three and four very good. I was shaking pretty bad. My shaking meter usually tells my guys how good I'm gonna run and when I came in that was the first thing they checked. I got all I could out of that race car. We've had so much fun today. We've had a good car and we just tuned on it a little bit here and there. It was a great day for us."

WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "It is very fast. I'm amazed at how much we're in the gas all the way around. I hope we have a really hot day on Saturday. I hope the Busch cars put down a lot of rubber tomorrow night and make this track slick. We'll see what happens. We had a lot of cautions here in the spring and Humpy re-did the track a little bit to try to create side-by-side racing and I hope we do, but there's a lot of grip out there right now. Hopefully, it'll get a little more slick by the time we run tomorrow and the Busch race tomorrow night will have some good side-by-side racing."

CAN YOU TAKE US AROUND YOUR LAP? "What I did learn tonight was don't ever sit in your bus and watch it on TV. Now I know why they don't put speedometers in our race cars. I didn't know we could actually run that fast down the backstretch here. It's just a pretty cool lap. We used to be really slick and really bumpy and now Humpy has taken away all of that. Now we can run really stiff shocks in the front so the car is bouncing pretty good around the race track - just a little bit. It's just smooth. You just try to hold it out. I call it the Mark Martin groove - hold it out all the way to the last minute and then dive down to the bottom. If you can get your car to do that without putting a lot of wheel in it, you're usually gonna be pretty fast. That's a normal lap around Lowe's Motor Speedway."

IS THERE ANYTHING NORMAL ABOUT RUNNING 197 IN A CORNER HERE? "That tells you how much grip they've put in this thing by grinding it. That's the only thing that scares me about the race Saturday night is there's so much grip in the track and it's so fast. We're not out of the gas hardly at all, which creates hard passing. You can't really gain speed on people if they're wide open and you are too, so I'm scared of that. That's why I'm hoping for a hot day Saturday and some rubber to be put down tomorrow night. This track tonight reminds me of Texas the first race. This track tonight reminds me of Atlanta when they first re-did it - how much grip is in the asphalt. By the way they ground it, they have put so much grip in this race track you're just not out of the gas. I do want to say one thing. I'm proud of Humpy because he got criticized really bad the first week of testing here. We lost a lot of race cars and things like that. Instead of really throwing their hands up in the air, they came and drug tires and did different things to try to make the track safer and more grip for us to be able to come here tonight and run, so I'm glad the track did do that."

THOUGHTS ON THE 48 SUCCESS HERE AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO BEAT THEM. "It's gonna take a lot to beat him here Saturday night. I think the Hendrick shop is only a mile down the road. They put a lot of emphasis coming here. I think Jimmie Johnson is the best race car driver at this race track. He's got a beautiful line. He knows what his car needs. I mean since he's been a rookie coming here he's always been fast here, so that's gonna be the team to beat. Before it's all said and done, we're gonna have to outrun them. No matter what they've run the last few races in the chase, I think anytime you come to Charlotte you've got to outrun the 48. So to outrun them tonight, to sit on the pole, is a great feeling because they always go for that too. That's gonna be the team we're gonna have to beat Saturday night also. We've got one up on them right now and we're gonna try to get the car as good as we can, as best we can, and see if we can't go out there and run with them all night."

WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULD DO AT THIS TRACK FOR NEXT YEAR? "I don't know. I wish they could put it back like it was two years ago, but I don't think it can get much faster than what it is now. I think you could come and repave it. Some people think you can put asphalt down here that doesn't have as much grip as it does up here and stuff like that. I still think new asphalt is new asphalt. It's gonna be fast. It's gonna take a couple of years for any track to cure. That's just a part of this sport. Hopefully, we'll see a great race Saturday night. I think it's gonna be tough to pass because the guys are gonna be right around the bottom and running fast and not out of the gas much. I wouldn't know what to tell the guys right now. They usually do great on situation and decisions and I wouldn't know what to tell him. I would not want to be in that situation right now. I heard him say the other day on TV he was thinking about repaving it and knowing him he's gonna try to do something to it to make it where the outside groove has more grip than the bottom groove or what have you to create two-wide racing, which that's good. That's what we want to show the fans - great racing. I love racing Atlanta. I love it. But what makes Atlanta Atlanta is that it's old. It's got old asphalt on in it, but tonight reminds me of Atlanta when they first repaved it, which is tough."

HOW WILL THE CHANGES AFFECT THE RACE AS FAR AS CAUTIONS? "I think one thing Humpy and the guys have done to help this track is they ground the bottom of turn two. A lot of the wrecks were caused in the bottom of turn two because you were so loose and the guy on the outside had so much grip. I think you're gonna have a lot of cautions here Saturday night, not because all of the race track, I think because the guys racing so close in the chase right now don't want to give an inch. This is a fast, fast race track and you can get loose besides people pretty fast. I just think that's the nature. It's getting down to chase time. You've got six or seven guys still in it, so I think you're gonna see a lot of cautions Saturday night."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin