Talladega: Elliott Sadler preview

Sadler and Team Ready to Get Pointed in Right Direction at Talladega Garmin to make sponsor debut on No. 19 Dodge Charger TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Talladega Superspeedway has been both cruel and kind to Elliott Sadler. The No. 19 Garmin Dodge driver...

Sadler and Team Ready to Get Pointed in Right Direction at Talladega
Garmin to make sponsor debut on No. 19 Dodge Charger

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Talladega Superspeedway has been both cruel and kind to Elliott Sadler.

The No. 19 Garmin Dodge driver owns three poles, a top-five finish and led each of the last 10 races on the 2.66-mile tri-oval. But video of Sadler's two horrific accidents on the Alabama restrictor-plate track are staples of any racing show's highlights.

Sadler, who turns 33 on April 30, knows the importance that luck plays in restrictor-plate racing. He and the team are hoping their bad luck ran out in Phoenix when debris knocked a belt off the oil pump while running fourth. The 41st -place finish dropped the Gillett Evernham Motorsports team three positions to 23rd in points.

While Sadler is focused on Talladega, he received some welcome news last week when NASCAR added a test date at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Elliott Sadler:

On racing at Talladega in the new car: "From what we saw at Daytona and here last year, I can't see us putting on anything other than an exciting race. We went three and four wide at Daytona, and with the way this newly-paved track is at Talladega we should be doing some exciting racing. The new surface still has a ton of grip in it and is very smooth.

"To be successful at Talladega you have to bide your time. You can't go racing up to the front and expect to sit there the entire race. The way the draft is, you are going to go up and down in the running order and have to be ready for anything to happen because it does quickly at Talladega. You need to concentrate on being in the best place at the right time towards the end. Heck, look what Ryan Newman did in winning the Daytona 500 this year. He was running in the top-five when the white flag came out and made the pass for the win. You either have to be way out in front, or close enough to make the right moves."

On NASCAR adding a test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I am in favor of it because we need it right now. These new cars are so finicky that you pretty much have what you have when you unload. There was a lack of true racing on the 1.5-mile tracks of Atlanta and Texas, so these cars still need some massaging on those types of tracks. Another test allows us to work on the cars to get better on the intermediate tracks. This new test couldn't have come at a better time and a better place."

The No. 19 Garmin Dodge will run GEM Chassis No. 238 this weekend; a new car never raced.

-credit: gem

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman , Elliott Sadler