Two blistered right fronts force Sadler to pit road Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 Best Buy Dodge of Gillett Evernham Motorsports started 14th in the first 150-mile Daytona 500 qualifying race on Thursday afternoon. Sadler paced his way around...
Two blistered right fronts force Sadler to pit road
Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 Best Buy Dodge of Gillett Evernham Motorsports started 14th in the first 150-mile Daytona 500 qualifying race on Thursday afternoon. Sadler paced his way around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway breaking into the top-10 by lap 11 and would move into the top-five 10 laps later. However, while running fourth on lap 22, the right front tire's outer rubber peeled off forcing Sadler to give up track position and hit pit road under green. The Best Buy Bunch changed all four tires, topped the Dodge off with fuel and returned Sadler to action. While running 25th one-lap down, full-field pit stops under green between laps 30 -34 put Sadler back on the lead lap. He would again work his way into the top-10 by lap 37. While running ninth on lap 55, the right front tire once again failed leaving only the inner liner on the wheel. This caused the Best Buy Dodge to slide up into the outside wall damaging the right side of the No. 19 Charger. Back to pit road for four tires, this time under caution, and minor body repairs had Sadler lined up 25th for the restart. That is where he would finish.
Behind the hauler Open Interview Session: Elliott Sadler will be available to all interested media behind the No. 19 Best Buy Dodge hauler in the garage area on Friday, February 15 from 12:30 -- 1 p.m. (No reservations required)
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES
"We had a great race car, one of the best ones I've ever had here in a long time at Daytona. I'm proud of my guys and the car they put together for Speedweeks; they certainly did their homework. The Best Buy Dodge is fast, I can guarantee that and you could see that by how we worked our way up to the front. I almost took the lead before my right front tire went down the first time. Then, we were racing in the front pack with guys who had 12-15 more laps on their tires towards the end. We are going to make no changes for the Daytona 500. We're just going to figure out our tire problem and work on that, for sure. As far as the car and its speed; we got something for these boys come Sunday."
High side or low: "They are about the same as far as where to race out there. You just have to find a drafting partner to work with and whoever they go with, you go with, too. My car was pretty good on both the top and bottom. We'll just see what happens on Sunday. It's a long race and we just need to get this tire thing figured out. I have all the faith in Rodney (Childers, Team Director) and the rest of the guys to fix that and the right side. I hate they have to do this extra work after all the hours they've already put in this race. But, I know we're going to be good to go come Sunday."
Type of racing to expect: "The track was really slick out there and we really got to sliding around. The good part was the more we slid around, the better the car seemed to run. So, I expect more of the same come Sunday. Again, the new race car put on a good show and we had some good racing. We're not as close to the front as I would like to be for the green flag on Sunday, but I've been back there before and know what to expect. It's a long race, and you're not going to win it in the first 50 laps. We'll work our way towards the front just like we did on Thursday. Get your popcorn ready; it's going to be exciting."
Gillett Evernham Motorsports efforts: "During the second practice on Wednesday, we didn't go out at all because we were so darn happy with our car. So, I went over and put on a radio to help my teammate Patrick Carpentier during his practice. I watched from on top of his hauler and hope I gave him a better understanding of this place. He is new to this all and I wanted to be sure he had all the knowledge he could handle to race well at Daytona. It's not an easy deal with so much going on during a restrictor-plate race."
Chassis info: GEM Dodge Charger No. 228 last raced at Talladega Superspeedway in October. Sadler started 10th, led three times for 24 laps before getting caught up in an accident to finish 24th. This is the primary car they used for pre-season testing at Daytona this year, as well