Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 21 Citgo Taurus, was involved in an accident during Happy Hour. He was examined in the Infield Care Center and released. ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- ARE YOU OK? "Yeah, I guess that's the main thing.
Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 21 Citgo Taurus, was involved in an accident during Happy Hour. He was examined in the Infield Care Center and released.
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- ARE YOU OK? "Yeah, I guess that's the main thing. This is a bigger tribute to NASCAR. These guys make sure we build safe race car and they're heavy-duty. I blew a right-rear. I heard it when it blew going down into turn one and I said, 'Man, this is gonna hurt when I hit the wall,' and then I opened my eyes back up and all I saw was asphalt and I said, 'Man, this is really gonna hurt.' So I was just lucky that it's OK. We flipped a few times and I stayed awake the whole time and looked at it and it's just a tribute to NASCAR and the Wood Brothers team for building such a great race car. I'd like to thank Kyle Petty. He stopped and made sure my ignition and everything was cut off and took time to do that and that's great to have friends like that in racing. Dale, Jr. came and checked on me as soon as I got here and that's pretty neat the way the NASCAR family works, but I'm just glad to be OK. I've got just a little bruised up leg -- shin -- a little bloodied up a little bit and a little cut tongue, but other than that I'm OK."
HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU TAKE IT OVER? "I don't know, I lost count after about six or seven. Then I just started closing (my eyes) and hoping it wasn't gonna hurt. It kind of just slid on its front end, it felt like, until it got down to the apron and then I think it dug in and it started spinning again. I think CBS had an in-car camera. I don't know how much I owe you for damaging that camera, but maybe it got some good footage. I'm just glad to be OK."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE INSIDE THE CAR? "It was pretty scary. That's the first time I've ever gone upside-down, so it was pretty scary to open your eyes and all you see is asphalt. You're like, 'Whoa, that's not right,' and then to hit and skid. I was opening one eye at a time and I'm just very lucky. I never knew a man could do so much praying in such a short time, but the great man was upstairs was definitely riding with me today, so we'll live to fight another day."
YOUR LUCK KEEPS GETTING WORSE? "I know, it does. This is not good timing for us. We qualified first day and that's a big accomplishment for us at Michigan. We had one of the fastest cars this morning and didn't run but five or six laps this afternoon and been having problems. Maybe the tire just got cut down and we didn't catch it in time. That was the best car we had at the whole Wood Brothers shop. All of my best finishes came from that race car, so it's a shame to see that one go. There are a lot of Citgo people coming tomorrow to watch us run, so..."
WILL YOU BE ABLE TO GO THE WHOLE RACE TOMORROW? "Yeah. The only thing is I've got a cut tongue, so I won't probably be able to speak real well in the morning and my shin (right shin) is bruised up pretty bad and my arm a little bit, but all my internal organs and everything is fine -- no blood showing up, no cracked bones yet or anything -- so everything looks good."
DID YOU HIT THE WALL? "I never hit the wall. The tire just blew and I spun completely around and it spun around so fast that the flaps didn't have time to come up. By the time I was completely around I was already in the air because it went silent. I thought I was gonna hit the wall and the next thing I know everything was silent. The next thing I know I could just see I was looking down at the asphalt, so I didn't hit the wall. It might be fortunate that I didn't hit the wall. You hit the wall here and you're gonna hit hard with a little sudden stop. At least by getting in the air you'll graze just a little bit. We're gonna count our lucky blessings and just see the best we can do after that."