Daytona Twins: Hermie Sadler - Ford interview

Hermie Sadler, driver of the No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus, is in a situation where he has to finish first or second among the cars not already guaranteed spots in Sunday's Daytona 500 in his Gatorade Duel 150 race on Thursday. Sadler spoke about...

Hermie Sadler, driver of the No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus, is in a situation where he has to finish first or second among the cars not already guaranteed spots in Sunday's Daytona 500 in his Gatorade Duel 150 race on Thursday. Sadler spoke about his situation.

HERMIE SADLER - No. 66 Peak Fitness Taurus -

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO TOMORROW? "We wish it wasn't quite like it is. We would have liked to have gotten it done on Sunday, but the fact of the matter is that we didn't. But our whole team is taking a good attitude about it. Our attitude is that it's an opportunity to get in through the race and get a race under our belts at the same time to better prepare ourselves for Sunday. That's the only attitude we can take and go from there. Luckily, the 38 and 88 are both in my race. Hopefully, if we can get ourselves in position, we'll have a little help to get us pushed to where we need to get. We need to get our car driving good and give ourselves an opportunity. That's all we can ask for."

DID TWO DAYS OFF HELP YOU AND YOUR TEAM? YOU HAD SOME DRIVE TRAIN ISSUES LAST WEEKEND? "It helped me personally because I was not feeling well anyway, so I went home for a couple of days and went home and saw my kids. That took my mind off things a little bit because it is a letdown. Even though we've only been at it about six weeks, everybody comes here with really, really high expectations and high hopes, so it was a little bit of a kick in the stomach last Sunday. But I've had a couple of days to refresh and get back, and they've had a couple of days to go through and make changes. We've changed everything we know to change on the car to eliminate the problems that we've been having with the vibration. Luckily, how you run by yourself in qualifying is not always a good indication of how your car is gonna run in traffic and in the draft. Historically, James has had cars that draft good and hopefully we can lean on some of our other Ford partners to give us some information to get us to where we need to get. All we're working for on Thursday is to get in a position to where we have a chance and then I should have enough friends to help me seal it once we get up there."

YOU'VE GOT TWO DISTINCT GROUP OF CARS IN THE DUEL - THOSE THAT ARE IN AND THOSE THAT AREN'T. HOW DO YOU SEE IT? "We definitely have to be aware of who we're racing. There are gonna be eight or nine cars in our race going for two spots. That's the reality of what it is, so we've got to be really, really smart about getting where we need to get as far as track position. In a perfect world, whether it be through sheer speed getting through there or pit strategy, we need to get in front of the cars we're racing against. Then it would be nice to have the 38 and the 88 and some of the other Ford cars, like the 16, that can hopefully help us stay there."

WILL THIS RACE BE ALL OUT FROM THE START OR WILL IT JUST BE THE LAST FIVE LAPS THAT GET HECTIC? "I think there will be different strategies for different people. We have to start in the back because we changed our transmission, so we'll probably give the race 15-20 laps to settle out. There are a lot of people with experience, but there are also a lot of people without a lot of experience with these rules and new tires, so we'll probably want to give it 15-20 laps to settle in and see who is going to do what. Handling is such a factor here. It's so much different than Talladega. Everybody says Daytona and Talladega, but Daytona - especially on these tires after 15 laps - your tires really start going away and it really becomes a handling race track. So we'll find out which cars are handling good and who is working good in which line. It's no secret. The fact is we have to outrun the guys that we're racing - those other seven or eight guys - so we'll have to adjust our strategy based on what our car is doing. We might have to take some chances, especially with that last pit stop. It's unlikely that we're gonna drive by everybody with where we're starting. I hope that's the case, but the fact of the matter is we're probably gonna have to do something different than what the other guys do to give ourselves a chance. A lot of that is based on how your car is driving and how it's running with old tires, so we'll adjust some of our strategy based on how our car is running."

YOU HAVE A CREW CHIEF IN JAMES INCE WHO HAS BEEN KNOWN TO TAKE A GAMBLE OR TWO. "That's what we're gonna have to have here. If we finish third out of our cars, it doesn't matter. We have to do whatever we have to do to finish in the top two of our cars. It doesn't matter if we finish 15th, as long as we're first or second among those cars, that's what our focus is on. That's one thing I do have in James. He's my ace in the hole because he's got a lot of experience in these type of races - a lot more than I do - so hopefully he can guide me to where I need to get."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Hermie Sadler