ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) NOTE: Sadler will make his seventh start this weekend for Evernham Motorsports. He joined the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW team at Michigan in August. HOW ARE THINGS WORKING OUT WITH THE 19...
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Sadler will make his seventh start this weekend for Evernham Motorsports. He joined the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW team at Michigan in August.
HOW ARE THINGS WORKING OUT WITH THE 19 TEAM? "I think things are working out well. If you look at the last three or four races I think we're getting better and better. We led some of the race at California before we got a lugnut get caught between the wheel and the brake rotor. We should have finished in the top five there. We finished sixth at New Hampshire. We led a lot of the race last week at Dover, ran in the top five all day pretty much and got caught under caution at the end. We're getting better as a team. Missing The Chase was a disappointment, but to get started on a new career at Evernham Motorsports this year is a big advantage for me. I think it's a big advantage for our team. It lets us start working together some. It's been fun learning about their program and the way they do things. I can't wait for the next eight races. We think we've still got a chance to run up front and you never know what's going to happen when you can do that. That's our goal for the rest of this year, and then we'll start working on next year."
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? "We're working on communication more than anything. Each driver has a different tolerance level of what's too loose and what's too tight. We've all got the same access to the same tools, but I think certain teams are better than others because of communication. That's what we're trying to work on. We're getting better and it's showing on the track. We'll keep working on that so when we go to Daytona next year we can come out running."
IS THE THREE-CAR TEAM AN ADVANTAGE? "Yes, you can sit over the winter and speculate a lot about what you can do, but until you get in a racing situation you never know how it's going to work out with pit stops and stuff like that. These guys are getting used to me on pit road. They're getting used to me on the radio. We're getting rid of all of that now because I don't think you can afford to throw away a race to get into The Chase. We've got too many good race teams in this garage now to do that. It's probably a disadvantage for guys going to new teams next year. They're going to spend the first four or five races getting to know each other, while everybody else is going to be in mid-strike. It is a disadvantage when you go to new teams like that."
COMMENT ON THE TRANSITION TO DODGE "Each car has different characteristics concerning what it takes to run fast. I'm still learning things about the Dodge Charger. What I do like about it is everybody at Evernham's has done a good job on the bodies, making them feel comfortable. I really feel I've got a lot to lean on. It just needs a little different adjustment for the race. That's what I'm learning. I'm teaching myself a new language. I'm kind of starting all over again. I didn't know it would be that much different, but actually it is. It's been fun. The guys are helping me with it. Kasey and Scott have done a great job helping me with that and shortening my learning curve on what changes are good and bad as far as what the Charger likes. As a driver, I've been in the same make of car for eight years in Nextel Cup racing. That's what I was used to. I've just had to reteach myself, rethink about things. It's like different sets of golf clubs. Different manufacturers make different golf clubs. They all look the same, but they don't all hit the ball the same. I'm not saying the way I swing is better or one club is better than the other, but everything takes a little different finesse to make it work."
HAVE YOU TESTED THE NEW NOSE FOR NEXT SEASON YET? "I have not tested the new nose for next year yet. I know everybody at Dodge and everybody at Evernham's has done a lot of wind tunnel testing with it, and they're real excited about it. I'm sure we're going to Kentucky or Nashville this winter and test with it to get ready for next year. They act like it's really good in traffic and as far as tape is concerned as far as cooling for our engines. They seem to act like it's going to be a little bit of a plus for us. Dodge is doing its job as far as giving us the tools. It's our job as a team to make it work."
ARE YOU DOING THE CAR OF TOMORROW TEST AT TALLADEGA? "I don't know if I am or not. I don't think so. I am doing some car of tomorrow tests coming up in November because I have not been in that car yet. I personally went to Ray and asked him if he could line up some tests for me so I could get some good test time for next year. When we go to the track I won't be in left field. Ray has lined it up, and we're going to go test it some."
COMMENT ON THE MILE AND A HALF TRACKS COMING UP "I've been very successful at the mile and a half tracks. We sat on the outside pole here last year and ran very good in the race. We feel like we're going to be strong here, Charlotte, Texas and Atlanta. Evernham Motorsports has been real strong at the mile and a half tracks this season. Kasey has five wins on those style tracks. I'm pumped up. This is the first mile and a half I've been to with the Dodge. We want to come out of the box running good. It kind of fits my driving style and hopefully we'll have a good day on Sunday."
YOU AND KASEY HAVE ALREADY BATTLED FOR A WIN AT TEXAS "He went back and stomped us pretty good the first race there this year. That's a track he loves and it's a track I definitely love. Hopefully we'll be racing each other for a win there again. I think when we get to the mile and a half tracks we're going to be very strong. We know that's a good place that the 19 can win, and we know they're going to be places where the 9 can make up some points. We're going to do everything as teammates to get all the information to those guys that we can and help as much as we can. Starting this week at Kansas, it's going to be important to our whole company."
COMMENT ON THE KANSAS TRACK "It's a little flatter and slicker than what we fight at Charlotte and Texas and Atlanta. It doesn't have exactly the same characteristics, but all-in-all it's a great racetrack. It's got some age on it the last few years and that's built in some different grooves. You don't have to run around the bottom. You can run around the middle or move up high and that creates some great racing. I think the fans are going to see some great racing here Sunday. Hopefully it's a little slicker than last year. That always creates better racing."
DO THE THREE EVERNHAM TEAMS RUN SIMILAR SETUPS? "Yeah, we're pretty close. I think the 9 and 19 are really close. We're testing some different things, but we're close. We try to start in the same box and then work outside of it. We want to have our cars pretty close to alike. All three drivers like our cars with the same setups. We all pretty much have the same driving styles, and we're learning that. That's what's been so important about this year. When we start next year, we can use all the information from all three teams. We've learned a lot about that this year. It's been fun so far."
HAS IT REALLY BEEN FUN? "I've had a ball. For the first time in a long time the last six races I've had a ball. I look forward coming to the track. I can't wait. I spend a lot of time with Kasey during the week, trying to keep him loose and ready to go. We've had a lot of fun talking about a lot of different things. I think we've got a fun crew. It's been fun learning each other, and we've been running good. That always helps. We have not been anywhere in the past six races and struggled. We feel like we've had a top 10 car everywhere we've been. Circumstances are going to start falling our way and we'll have something to show for it."
ARE YOU LOOSER THAN YOU NORMALLY ARE THIS TIME OF THE SEASON? "It feels like a new season. Usually if you're not in The Chase this time of the year the season is getting pretty long. You're ready for wintertime. I was watching deer hunting shows on TV this morning before I came out getting ready for the winter. Since I've just switched teams, it feels like a fresh start. I've got new energy, a new bounce in my step to try to really run well in these last eight races."
-credit: dodge motorsports