Chicagoland: Sadler - Dodge Friday interview

Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) ON CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY - "Chicago is becoming a great race track. I think it gets better each and every year. As the asphalt ages a little bit, as it gets a little greyer it loses a...

Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

ON CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY - "Chicago is becoming a great race track. I think it gets better each and every year. As the asphalt ages a little bit, as it gets a little greyer it loses a little bit of grip and makes for some great racing. We saw some guys last year run right up against the top all the way around. It's coming into its own. It's a lot of fun to drive. It's always a little slicker and I think that creates a lot better racing. It should put on a good show for everybody Sunday."

ON THE CONFLICT WITHIN TEAMS THIS SEASON - "That's just part of the process, and now with the point system change with the chase it's a lot more pressure on the teams to win and perform. With the pressure comes attitude and frustration and all those things. It's a very difficult sport. It's competitive. It can take you through the ringer and a lot of different emotions on any given weekend. Kyle Busch probably feels like he ison an island over there by his self. I re-watched the race and he wasn't helping those guys and those guys weren't helping him as far as drafting is concerned. He probably feels a little bit left out from the Hendrick camp being the odd man out and having to leave, so I can see where his grip is. I think Tony was just frustrated because he had the fastest car in the 500 and wrecked, and had the fastest car all weekend last weekend at Daytona. That is between he and Denny to work out and Joe Gibbs I guess. You see a lot of frustration. You see guys that are used to winning that maybe haven't won a race this year and this point system is just tuff for everybody."

ON CHANCES FOR MAKING THE CHASE - "It's going to be tough for us to make the chase right now. We are more focused on trying to get this season turned around and being more competitive. Between the No. 9, No. 10 and myself we haven't run the way we've wanted to this year. We think we know what direction we want to go in. We made a lot of changes in the past two weeks to our race teams moving some people around to try and spark some kind of relationship to get some communication between us. We are going to see if we can go from there. We'll see. We have our fingers crossed that anything can happen, but the main thing is we just want to keep getting better every week when we show up."

WHEN DO YOU START TO WORK ON THE COT EXCLUSIVELY? "I think we are getting close to that. I mean that is a great question. We are further behind on the COT than we are on the old car so we are getting to that point where there are only so many hours in a day. We want to have all our ducks in a row when we arrive at Daytona next year. We haven't gone to that yet, but when we get to a point where we know for sure that we are 100% out of The Chase we will definitely focus a lot of attention on the COT program. "

WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THE LAST OFF WEEKEND OF THE SEASON? "I am going home to play some golf. Spend some time with family. Spend some time with my mom and dad and all my friends that I went to high school with. Just hang out in southern Virginia -- nothing extravagant. Vacation to me is sitting at home and not doing anything. Being a couch potato and swinging the club a little bit -- so that is what I'll be doing."

HOW MUCH OF A GRIND IS IT RACING 17 CONSECUTIVE WEEKENDS? "It's tough. The last stretch. It's a long season especially when you are having a frustrating one. Going week to week to week, it's tough to catch up when you are behind. It's tough, but I think that is what makes this sport so competitive. If you're crowned a champion, you have to go through a lot of ups and downs and you don't get any breaks from it. You have to go each and every week, so I think it makes it fun for everybody at the end especially when you win the championship."

ON RACING AT INDY - "It's still very special. Indy is a great race track. There is a lot of history there - a lot of bragging rights. Everybody brings the best possible car, the best possible motor, everything they can possibly bring to be competitive. I definitely have Indy marked off on my schedule. We have been talking about Indy a lot the past month trying to get ready for that particular race. So we'll see what happens."

ON THE QUALIFYING PROCEDURE AFTER LAST WEEK IN DAYTONA - "I think qualifying is right. You reward the teams that show up every week to be a part of this show and the sponsors and the teams. I know Boris Said had the pole and didn't get a chance to race, but Boris only races three times a year. You have to reward the guys that show up each and every weekend that try to go after it and made it on points and then attempts and things like that. That is why this rule is in place to take care of the teams and the owners that spend the money each and every week. I think qualifying right now and the way that it is set up is pretty close to how it needs to be."

DO YOU THINK QUALIFYING SHOULD STAY AT THE TOP 35? "I think 35 is a good number. No matter what you do somebody's feelings are going to be hurt. No matter what rule changes you make only 43 guys are going to be able to race each and every Sunday. If they change the rules and make it something else, then you are going to hurt someone else's feeling again next year. You are going to be in the same boat and we are going to be talking about the same thing a year from now. I think the top 35 is a good round number. You have at least 35 great race teams. I think it is a good rule. I think we should keep it around to protect the owners that are involved in this sport and have been for a long time."

ON THE POTENTIAL OF GEORGE GILLETTE BECOMING A PARTNER - "I have met George a few times. He is a great guy. He is very down to earth and a very approachable person for who he is and what he has done. He is a great man. We are still working through things to try and get that all finalized. You guys wouldn't believe how much paper work is involved, how much negotiating and how much this and that is involved when you talk about acquiring a big thing like a race team or something like that. I think it is going to happen. That is my opinion. How soon? I don't know. We have definitely enjoyed having him around the race track the last few months. I think they have really got the NASCAR bug and we would love to have them a part of the Evernham family so we will see what happens."

WOULD THAT GIVE YOU KIND OF A JUMPSTART ON NEXT YEAR - "I think if it does happen, I would really like to see it happen this year. To get everyone acclimated to what's going on, what is going to happen and what everyone expects from everyone so when we get to Daytona next year we get a good solid foot print in the ground and get off to a good start. I don't know. I am kind of like you guys right now. Waiting and listening to see when it might be finalized and work out all the bugs. Finally get the papers signed."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Boris Said , Elliott Sadler , Kyle Busch