Martinsville: Elliott Sadler preview

STRATEGY IS KEY AT MARTINSVILLE FOR SADLER, M&M'S® CHARLOTTE, NC (March 28, 2006) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series moves to Martinsville Speedway for round two of short track action in Sunday's DIRECTV 500. The snowy weather at...

STRATEGY IS KEY AT MARTINSVILLE FOR SADLER, M&M'S®

CHARLOTTE, NC (March 28, 2006) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series moves to Martinsville Speedway for round two of short track action in Sunday's DIRECTV 500. The snowy weather at Bristol definitely was not enough to cool the hot tempers of a wild finish to last weekend's 500 lap event. With more door to door action in store for this weekend, M&M'S® driver Elliott Sadler knows that keeping your nose clean is only half of the battle.

"In comparison to Bristol, this race track as far as driving them is totally different," said Sadler. "The biggest similarity is going be pit strategy and track position. Both are very crucial to how you're going to run that day. You've got to be up front and you've got to stay out of trouble. We finished in the top-10 in this race last year and it was because of some great calls in the pits."

Sadler is relying heavily on crew chief Tommy Baldwin to guide the M&M'S Team to a top-10 finish at a track where Sadler has previously struggled, posting one top-five and two top-10 finishes in 14 career starts. With just eight points standing between Sadler and a top-10 position in the NEXTEL Cup Series championship point standings, a strong run at Martinsville tops the Virginia native's homecoming wish list.

Quoting M&M'S Driver Elliott Sadler:

On Martinsville--

"I like this place. It's at home. There's always a lot of pressure on us to run good there and I've always got so much support from all of our Virginia fans, but I'm really anxious to see where we stack up when we get to Martinsville and how much more work we need to do on our short track program. It's a big weekend for us. We're right outside of the top-10 and the points are definitely going to get shuffled around some this weekend since we're running at a short track. Martinsville is going be a tell-tale weekend for us."

On pit strategy and track position--

"This is a track where its tough to pass and that makes your pit calls and pit stops more crucial. There is a lot of pressure on the driver but also on the crew chief to be on his game and make some tough calls on pit road. You got to know when to take two tires, when to take gas only, when to stay out. It is a chess match and the teams that make the right call in the last third of the race are going to have the best shot to go to victory lane."

-ryr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler , Tommy Baldwin