Charlotte: Sadler - Thursday media visit


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger)

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR VISIT TO THE PHILLIP O. BERRY SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY YESTERDAY TO CELEBRATE THE STUDENT CLUB FOR AUTISM SPEAKS? "Yesterday was absolutely an amazing deal for me. We went to a local hospital here in Charlotte that has come up with student clubs that do different things to raise money for different types of functions. Whether its cancer or leukemia patients, we met with kids that raise money for the awareness of autism. I'm use to being around grown-ups that do stuff like that, never have I been around kids that do that. I was very moved and motivated by what they do. It's cool. The principal told me that 60 percent of the kids that go to that school are considered 'in-poverty'. And those kids are spending their extra time and money and efforts to give back to organizations like that and spend their extra time. So it's something very moving. They're the only school in North Carolina that do that. They're the only school in the southeastern part of the United States that do that. So definitely, you learn a lot from them and they definitely lead by example. It's neat for us to go over there and be a part of that. It's very touching."

THIS IS YOU 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY IN CUP RACING. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FIRST RACE? "I'll tell you what I remember about my first race that sticks out of my mind is that I got absolutely hungry. I starved to death halfway through the race. And the reason why is that all the Busch races use to start at noon. You really didn't have time to eat and you didn't want to have a lot on your stomach for a 200 mile race. The Coca-Cola 600 starts at 5:30 in the evening and I didn't eat anything the whole day. Halfway during the race I was like, 'Guys, I am hungry. I need something. Please give me something to eat.' They pushed in a white powdered doughnut through the window for me to eat with gloves on and it's hot. I think that I got more on me than in me. That's the biggest thing that I remember about the race. We only ran about half of it (race) and had motor problems, but it was a really cool experience to be able to make that race. I still remember like it was yesterday."

WHAT DO YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NOW TO PREPARE FOR 600 MILES? "I eat (laughs). I make sure that I eat a lot on Saturday night. I make sure that I eat a lot on Sunday afternoon, a big lunch to make sure that my body has a lot of energy and stuff to pull from. It's a long race. Five-hours in a race car is very long. I take car of my body this whole week to make sure that I'm good mentality and physically for this weekend. I just make sure that I'm really hydrated. I've got a lot of fresh oxygen in my system and everything before the race starts on Sunday."

WHY THE OXYGEN? "There are a lot of guys out here that do (oxygen). Different guys either do it with the mask or in the (oxygen) chamber. It's something that I learned from Dale Jarrett six or seven years ago. I take in a lot of fresh oxygen. I'm in a car for an hour-and-a-half today and another two or three hours Saturday. By the time Sunday rolls around on the weekend, you've got three or four hours of carbon monoxide in your system. So I try to take in some fresh oxygen Saturday night and definitely Sunday morning before the race just to make sure that my blood cells are as pure as they can be. When you're in a car for five hours, you're definitely going to get some carbon monoxide in your system. I'm just trying to take care of myself for longevity in the sport."

DO YOU TAKE IN THE OXYGEN WITH A MASK? "I do it with a mask because it's just easier for me. I don't really want to lie in a chamber; I'm kind of claustrophobic so I do the mask thing."

HAVE YOU TALKED TO A.J. ALLMENDINGER THIS WEEK? "I've got better things to do and more things to worry about than talking to him (Allmendinger). The Coca-Cola 600 is a big race here in NASCAR and I want to be focused and ready to go. Let's just try and qualify and worry about that, I'll worry about him another time."

HOW CLOSE IS THE NO.19 TEAM FROM BEING WHERE THEY WANT TO BE? "We're definitely getting closer. We were very fast here last week. Our Dodge Charger sat here on the pole. We were fast here in testing. I really wanted to have a chance to run here last week and run some laps and learn a lot about our car. It was a big shot in the arm when our teammate was able to start dead last in the All-Star Race, no cautions, not a lot of wrecks, had to pass a lot of cars and make it where he went to. He (Kahne) ran very fast and a lot of good race cars couldn't catch him there at the end. So that was a big shot in the arm for us. There's a lot of optimism, a lot of confidence of coming back this weekend for the 19 and the 9 and we expect to be very fast on Sunday. I can't wait to get qualifying to get under way, hopefully get a good qualifying position and go from there."

HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU FEEL AS A RACE CAR DRIVER 10 YEARS AFTER YOUR FIRST START? "I think I understand better what's going to happen. When you come in as a rookie, you're so overwhelmed by the people, the media, who you're racing against. I was racing against a lot of my heroes in 1998. A lot of great race car drivers that I was fans of. What's going to happen (in the race)? How the day is going to play out? I know how my car needs to be during the day to be good at night. I'm trying to learn from experience. Am I a better race car driver? Maybe better with my mind; I don't know with my hands and stuff. I think that's all about the same. I try and be a smarter race car driver now then I was 10 years ago."

HAVE YOU HAD ANY ON-TRACK INCIDENTS WITH ANY OF YOUR HEROES? "Dale Earnhardt Sr. was one of my biggest heroes growing up, one of the biggest guys I looked up to. At Bristol, we got in a wreck in Turn 1 on like the second lap. He hit me, spun me out and also took Dale Jr. out. After the race, me and Jr. were talking about it and were like, 'What was your dad thinking? What was this? What was that?' So we both got a pinch in our neck and it was like, 'You kids better stop talking about me (said Dale Sr.).' And we were like, 'Yes sir, yes sir.' So it was pretty funny and we talked about it and totally laughed it off and went on from there."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett