Homestead: Sadler - Dodge Friday interview

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) WHAT'S THIS WEEKEND GOING TO BE LIKE FOR YOU? "Honestly racing this weekend for me is going to be fun. We're going out there and try to do the best we can. We're going to try to lead laps....

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

WHAT'S THIS WEEKEND GOING TO BE LIKE FOR YOU? "Honestly racing this weekend for me is going to be fun. We're going out there and try to do the best we can. We're going to try to lead laps. We think we're pretty safe in the points' situation. As a race fan, you cannot be a race fan and not be excited about what's going on here this weekend. Everybody that's involved in The Chase and has a shot to win this championship, there's some kind of story you can write about it.

"If Jimmie wins, I think you can say this can be one of the most successful seasons a racecar driver has had by winning the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, five top-two finishes in a row to win the championship. You put that all together.

"If Kevin wins, it'll be the first person to win the Busch and Cup. If Denny wins it would be the first rookie. If Junior wins it'll be the best comeback season in NASCAR history. We've all made fun of Matt Kenseth because he's the reason we have The Chase format. We could win the championship under two different formats, so as a race fan, I think everybody's got to be excited about this weekend. There's something good going to come out of it on Monday morning for everybody."

WHAT SURPRISED YOU WHEN YOU WENT TO EVERNHAM'S? "The biggest thing I'm surprised at is there are no egos on that race team. We're one race team with three drivers -- Kasey, Scott and myself. I was really surprised that Kasey and Scott really welcomed me in, really rolled out the red carpet. We share information like there is no tomorrow. I joke about it. I know the last time those guys had to go use the bathroom. We share that much information. From where I came from to where I am now, I think that's the biggest difference. It's cool to be a part of a team like that. Ray has got his hands in everything. He's into it. He's got a lot of fire. He wants to win. He wants to run good. He wants to be competitive no matter what it takes. They're the two biggest things I was really surprised about. I'm happy about it. I'm just looking forward to the future racing with these guys. I think we're going to get better. We're working on our language barrier a little bit, and we should be fine."

WHAT BRINGS ABOUT THE SHARING OF INFORMATION? "An owner can say, 'guys, we're rather you share information' or not, but if you don't want to work together it's not going to work. It's all about communication. That's with every race team. You see the 24 and 48 always work well together. For some reason all the Joe Gibbs cars always work well together. Certain teams in this sport seem to have it working for them. Everybody wants to help each other on that race team at Evernham's. It just starts at the top with Ray and goes to the team directors and all the way down the line."

COMMENT ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS WEEKEND "It should be a big event. You look at our sport and how many Fortune 500 companies are part of it and how many fans we have. This would be a special weekend for everybody. I think they need to do whatever they can to hype it up as big as they can. We have the longest season of anybody. Why not make a big splash at the end of the year to crown our champion that has been a part of the sport since February?"

DO THINK IT'S GETTING BIGGER EVERY YEAR? "I think so, and I think The Chase has helped with that and they keep playing with different things, different rules that they might come with in The Chase to make it bigger and better. I think we have to do that to keep the fans' interest, to keep the people coming to the stands and keeping those full. Sometimes you've got to do that. What's wrong with trying to make some big splashes? What's wrong with trying to do some things away from the racetrack top try to help with that? I think when race fans come to a championship weekend, it should not be just a green flag, 400 miles and then a checkered flag. Some things should go along with that."

COMPARE MAKING THE CHASE VERSUS NOT MAKING IT "Making The Chase is so much more fun. Making it in 2004 and being a part of it is a big deal. It's big for your sponsors and big for your team. When you've got more than 300 employees that work for your race team and all of them are trying to win a championship and be a part of The Chase, it makes them feel good. It puts a little hop in your step. Even though these guys are probably stressed out because it's a tough weekend, it's still fun to be a part of The Chase. Those 10 guys have had a great season, no matter what."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup