A promising weekend turned into heartache for Elliott Sadler. He sat on the pole, clearly had one of the best cars on the racetrack for the Brickyard 400, but just couldn't manage to hold it together in the races closing laps. Sadler led a good...
A promising weekend turned into heartache for Elliott Sadler. He sat on the pole, clearly had one of the best cars on the racetrack for the Brickyard 400, but just couldn't manage to hold it together in the races closing laps.
Sadler led a good portion of the beginning of the event but eventually fell back to sixth were he was running consistently as the races final laps unfolded. Sadler radioed to his team that he felt 'something not right' and believed that he had a tire going down.
He struggled to get onto pit road, freefalling through the field until he could wheel the No. 38 Ford into the pits for service. Upon getting there, the team determined that there was nothing wrong with any of the tires Sadler's ride.
It's an incredibly costly mistake for Team 38. The bad call on Sadler's part drops the team out of the Chase for the Championship into 12th place.
Sadler has been inconsistent of late. After racking up 11 top-15 finishes in the beginning of the season the last five events have been catastrophic. He has five consecutive results of 16th or worse.
"I don't know what to say," said a dejected Sadler. "I thought I had a tire going down. I don't know if it was or not. I guess not. I don't know. It's just not our year. It's not meant to be. The guys gave me a great car and it's just not meant to be."
Watkins-Glen International is not going to be the shot in the arm Sadler needs. Sadler's call may have very well cost this team the opportunity to compete for this year's championship.
If there is hope for them to squeeze back in, they have got to stop the hemorrhaging. They cannot afford what happened to them last year in the Chase to start this early. Last season, Sadler simply came unglued having a ruinous final five events which trapped him ninth overall for 2004.
His team is giving him great cars. Yates engines are providing superior horsepower. And his pit crew is charting 13 second stops. Sadler needs a 'come to Jesus' meeting. He is a great young driver with a tremendous amount of potential, but he needs to find a way to stop falling out of the seat.