Pocono: Sadler - Dodge Friday interview

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON THE SETUP FOR POCONO "It's definitely a different racetrack than anything else we race at. It's one of those tracks where you've got to give a little here to get a little ...

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

COMMENT ON THE SETUP FOR POCONO "It's definitely a different racetrack than anything else we race at. It's one of those tracks where you've got to give a little here to get a little there. You're not going to have a perfect race car in all three corners. Usually you're a little tight in turn one and you're a little good in the tunnel and you're going to be a little free in turn three. It's just the kind of scenario this track gives you. It's fun for me, especially when we shifted. I really liked it a lot better then. That was really cool shifting six times a lap.

"More the brakes than the engine (concerns me for the final 100 miles). We've had some brake problems here because you don't downshift anymore to get into the first turn. Engine-wise, I think we're OK. Our guys have done a good job with engine development and the new gear rule and shifting rule, we usually don't turn a lot or rpm's here. I think engine-wise we'll be fine. We'll just try to conserve the brakes as much as we can all weekend and use them up the last hundred miles.

"I like Michigan. It's in the manufacturers' backyard, so a lot of bragging rights come with that race. We want to go there and run well. It was my first race with the 19 car last year. We qualified outside pole and finished 10th, so it was a great weekend for us. Hopefully we can go back again next week and run well. We need some momentum right now on this team, so that would be a good place to go.

"Pocono is a good place to come. My bus drivers talks about it. He came up here on his honeymoon -- his first one and his second one and his third one. It must be a pretty cool place to come. We've always had great fans here and they get pretty close to the action here. This place has a lot of cool attributes to it.

"I've already got a 25-point penalty this year. It's very hard (to overcome), but I like penalties given out. NASCAR came to us two or three years ago and it was just fines at the time. The fines didn't seem to be working, so they started taking points away. I think that gets a lot more attention. It'll make everybody focus a llittle more about staying within the box of rules. Anytime you're hit with a penalty it hurts, no matter how many it is.

"Sometimes we do get mad at each other on the racetrack, but I think we should leave it on the racetrack, period. You shouldn't take the lives of crew members in your hands with the racecar. I'm great friends with Kurt. He's a great guy to race with. I just think he got really upset and his emotions got the best of him and he just took it out in the wrong place. I think if he had calmed down a little bit and

talked to Tony after the race everything would have been OK. Let's leave it on the racetrack. That's my opinion of it. He did get hit with 100 points, so I'm sure he'll think about it next time before it happens and we all will knowing that's a pretty stiff penalty. Try to control all your emotions the best you can, but leave it all on the track. Don't get the pit crew members involved. I think the penalty is appropriate. It's not unjust whatsoever."

YOU'RE HALFWAY THOUGH THE SEASON AND STILL NOT OUT OF THE CHASE "We're only 160 points out. These next three weekends are huge for the 19 car. Most of our struggles have come on the COT racetracks. We have two good racetracks coming up with last year's car here at Pocono and Michigan. We had a real good test at Sears Point. We usually run pretty well out there on the road course. The next three weekends are going to be do or die for us as the 19 team. I think if we're under 100 points when we leave Sears Point we've got a great chance of making The Chase. If we're over 100 points our hill is going to be pretty steep to climb. We'll see, but that's the way we're looking at it. We need to take it one race at a time, qualify well, race well and then move on to the next week, but I'd really like to be under 100 points leaving Sears Point. It's tighter than it's ever been It seems like four or five guys have hit it and have taken off and everybody else is bunched up. I think the competition is so tough these days, there's not much room between the seventh place team and the 25th place team."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup