Darlington: Elliott Sadler preview

Sadler Waited A Year For Another Date With The Lady In Black QUOTING M&M'S DRIVER ELLIOTT SADLER: "Darlington is probably the track I have the best chance at winning a race on this year. It's a mental as well as physical race because the guy...

Sadler Waited A Year For Another Date With The Lady In Black


"Darlington is probably the track I have the best chance at winning a race on this year. It's a mental as well as physical race because the guy who has the best handle on his car and drives the smartest race will be the winner at the end. When I say the car has to handle well, I mean it has to fit like and old comfortable shoe. Darlington is abrasive and hard on tires but this will be the same tire compound Goodyear brought to Rockingham and we should have a good 'grip' on what the tire wear will be like.

"The reason Darlington is so tough is because the track itself is real narrow.That wall just seems to creep up on you sometimes. It should be a big challenge because we are giving up a lot of racing room because of the installation of the SAFER Barriers. I guess I can give up an inch or two if it means safety but it's going to throw a monkey wrench into the line I drive. We are all going to have to pay close attention because I have been running the same line for years at Darlington. The guys who aren't committed to a certain way of running on this track may have an advantage. Darlington is where the M&M'S team won our first pole and I hope it's where our first points win is with RYR."


"We are bringing a new car to Darlington - it has been on the track before as we tested it in Las Vegas. Last week was not where we want to be - it left us all scratching our heads wondering what happened and how we can prevent a performance like that from happening again. We'll work it through as we are testing in Bristol this week. We will bounce back."


"I love racing at Darlington. It's a driver's race track. The tires are going to be worn out in five laps and the driver has to stay up on the wheel. It's up to Elliott, Todd and the crew to get the car handling properly. I cringe a lot during the race because the cars run so close to the wall it's scary. This time around will be pretty nerve wracking because I have watched Elliott run the same line around that track for years and the SAFER Barriers are going to make a difference."


DARLINGTON STATS--Elliott's stats are impressive at Darlington. He has one pole, one top 5 and three top 10s in the spring race.

ELLIOTT'S "BEST EATS"-- Sadler recently tapped into his journalistic and culinary side when he wrote a feature for Racing Milestones Track Guide and 2004 Preview titled Elliott's Best Eats. Sadler detailed his preferred restaurants throughout the NASCAR NEXTEL Series circuit as well as his favorite dishes to order at each establishment. The magazine is on newsstands and available through April.

LOCAL CREW MEMBER--Spotter Brett Griffin is from nearby Pageland, SC. Griffin is in his fourth season spotting for Sadler and a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Business Management.

ELLIOTT ON TV--Elliott will co-host Totally NASCAR on March 24th. The feature filmed over the Vegas weekend at M&M'S World will also air that night. Totally NASCAR is on FOX SPORTS NET at 6pm local time.

ELLIOTT SADLER'S RACE FOR HOPE--Race for Hope will take place Tuesday, May 25th from 5-9pm ET at the Concord Mills NASCAR SpeedPark located at 8461-G1 Concord Mills Blvd. Concord, NC near Lowe's Motor Speedway. Race for Hope will allow race fans the opportunity to race bumper-to-bumper on the exciting go-kart tracks with NASCAR drivers, obtain autographs and experience the ultimate race fan's dream - to eat a private dinner with their favorite NASCAR driver. In his second annual charity event, Sadler hopes to surpass the $45,000 M&M'S Hoops for Hope raised last year - but will also add the Victory Junction Gang Camp to his list of benefactors. There will also be a silent auction on site to include items such as driver uniforms, helmets and sheet metal from NASCAR's top teams. Drivers who will join Elliott include Hermie Sadler, Dale Jarrett, Michael and Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Sterling Marlin, Martin Truex, Jr., and Jimmie Johnson. Partners for the May 25th event include NASCAR SpeedPark, M&M'S, Coca-Cola, The ACE & TJ Morning Show along with KISS 95.1 FM, and the University City Outback Steakhouse. Live entertainment will begin at 5pm with local bands and special quests. Tickets are available via the NASCAR SpeedPark ticket office at 1-877-626-8725. Space is limited and tickets are going quickly so fans are encouraged not to delay. For more info log onto www.SadlerFanClub.com.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Hermie Sadler , Martin Truex Jr. , Elliott Sadler