Charlotte II: Sadler - Dodge Thursday interview

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THIS WEEKEND? "Going off of the Coca Cola 600, we had a little bit of everything. We had gas mileage win the race. We had a lot of torn up race cars and a lot of wrecks...

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THIS WEEKEND? "Going off of the Coca Cola 600, we had a little bit of everything. We had gas mileage win the race. We had a lot of torn up race cars and a lot of wrecks at the beginning of the race. We don't really know what the "Beast of the East" has in store for us this weekend, but definitely I think everybody is going to come in here and be careful after what happened in the spring. Of course, the Chase guys are probably going to tippy-toe a little bit until we get some good rubber down on the racetrack everywhere and then we'll go from there. It should be exciting. We're in everybody's back yard; it's fun to race at the racetrack and then go home and sleep in your own bed almost like a regular 9 to 5 job. So, it's a pretty cool weekend for all of us.

WHAT ABOUT THE ADDITION OF PATRICK CARPENTIER TO THE ORGANIZATION? "We are going to welcome him aboard. He's a great guy. We had fun working with him at Watkins Glen. I've tested with him a few times at Kentucky, seems to be a nice guy. I don't know all the plans yet. I don't know anything about a sponsor, car number or anything like that. I just know he is coming to be a part of the Gillett Evernham team so hopefully he can get right on board, get his feet wet pretty early, cut his teeth pretty early and then go from there."

ARE WE GOING TO SEE YOU IN VICTORY LANE AT MARTINSVILLE? "I would love to. I do love the place. I love going to Martinsville. It's so close to home. I used to go there a lot as a fan. To be able to go back there and race and enjoy that part of it is pretty special. I got close to victory lane there a couple years ago; finished top five and ran good the whole time so we'll see. We're carrying a pretty good car of mine, one of my favorite COT cars and we think we've learned some stuff on them, made them better since the last time we were there in the spring. Hopefully we'll be okay."

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CARPENTIER? "I had never met him before Watkins Glen. When I met him he seemed very nice. He has a lot of knowledge about the inside of the car. He seemed to pick up well to the COT car at Watkins Glen. I think he ran very well at Kentucky when we went there to test together. I think he's really going to pick up on the speed and stuff fine. It's just going to be getting use to how close we race each other compared to what he comes from. I think that's going to be the longest learning curve that he has to go through, but he'll be fine with it."

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE THE OPEN WHEEL NAMES TO GET UP TO SPEED? "I don't know, there is a bunch of them coming. We'll see if they are as good as Juan Pablo. I mean, he pretty much got right in right off the saddle and blended well and is competitive pretty much everywhere we go. Juan really came in pretty fast. I'm not sure as far as the other guys coming in; it depends a lot on their equipment, a lot on their teammates and teams all getting together. The COT car is definitely helping these guys because they are a little easier to drive. Pretty much what you got is what you got. You can't manhandle them as much as the old cars. So, I think the COT car is helping a lot of these guys come in; it should help shorten the learning curve a little bit."

IS IT SURPRISING HOW FAST THE INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS ARE COMING IN TO NASCAR? "It is. Seems like they're all here in one shot, but it's like that in NASCAR. A couple years ago you had to have a World of Outlaw guy. A couple years before that you had to have a guy that had Busch experience. Now the guys are trying the IRL, CART, Formula One kinda background; it just kind of runs in cycles. I think it's great for our sport; these guys are all coming over here to be a part of it. They're coming to the best sport in the world. I think that says a lot for our fans, our sponsors and our teams. So, we'll have to sit back and see how each one does."

IS THE MIGRATION OF DRIVERS A RESPONSE TO THE WEAKNESS OF OPEN WHEEL RACING? "I think so and I hope we don't ever get to that point. If we stay strong, we'll be fine. Right now we have the highest TV ratings of any other motorsports in the United States. We have the most fans. We have the biggest sponsors. Right here is where you want to be if you want to race in America. Right here is where it's at and I think these guys know that and they want to come be a part of it, test their feet and see how it is.

HOW DO YOU THINK THE TRADITIONAL NASCAR FAN IS GOING TO REACT TO THE FOREIGN DRIVERS? "That is a good question and I don't have an answer to that. I know Juan Pablo gets a few boos here and there. That's cool we have NASCAR fans that protect our NASCAR heritage. But, I also think it's great for international guys to come into our sport. They're bringing new fans to our sport, their bringing new sponsor and new people that would maybe were close minded about it before."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup