Phoenix: Elliott Sadler preview

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 team for Richard Petty Motorsports are heading into the off week looking to rest, relax and regroup before heading to Phoenix International Raceway. Sadler, an avid North Carolina Tar Heel fan, ...

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 team for Richard Petty Motorsports are heading into the off week looking to rest, relax and regroup before heading to Phoenix International Raceway. Sadler, an avid North Carolina Tar Heel fan, watched his Tar Heels win the NCAA Championship on Monday night from his home while celebrating his wife Amanda's birthday. Then the pair is headed to the Sadler family retreat in Nags Head, N.C. for the Easter weekend to spend time with family.

HOW ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR EASTER WEEKEND: "I'm heading down to Nags Head, N.C. to spend some time with my wife and family. My Mom makes sure that every year we spend this time together as a family. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together each day and do most things as a family. This is also my first trip back to Nags Head since I proposed to my wife, so its going to be kind of a special trip for us to go back and be there now that we're married. We also try to get out and do some deep sea fishing or play some golf. This is really just a complete vacation away from racing to try and rest."

ON PHOENIX: "Phoenix is a track I really like, but my track record there leaves a little bit to be desired. We've had some really strong runs at Phoenix, it just seems like every time we have a fast racecar something goes wrong. Last year we qualified second, but we had engine problems and didn't get the finish we were hoping for. A couple times when I was with Yates we had great races going, would be running like fourth and then we got caught up and wrecked by lap traffic. I'm hoping that our luck changes this time around and we can put together a great run. Momentum has to start somewhere and we're thinking that this weekend is as good as any to start to put a couple of good races together and make up some ground to put ourselves in a better points position before the season gets too far along."

* Sadler is wearing a specially designed Autism Awareness themed helmet for the races in Phoenix and Talladega.

* The Autism Awareness helmet will go up for auction at www.sadlerfoundation.org at 8 a.m. on Sadler's 34th birthday--April 30. The auction will close on May 19. All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit autism related charities.

* Sadler's Autism Awareness helmets worn the past two years have raised a total of $13,567 through online auctions hosted by the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation's Web site. ($6,900 in 2008, $6667 in 2007)

* Sadler's best career start at Phoenix International Raceway was second (April 2008) and his best finish was 10th (2002).

* In 14 career starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Sadler has one top-10 finish. He has led 17 laps (16 in 2004, one in April 2006) and completed 93.3 percent (4,080 of 4,372) of the total laps.

* Chassis No. 261 will serve as the primary. No. 261 last raced at Las Vegas in March. Chassis 256 will serve as the backup. Chassis No. 256 last served as a backup at Martinsville Speedway.

-credit: rpm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler