Talladega II: Pole winner interview

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st) "First of all, I'm very, very happy to be on the pole here. Doug and Robert Yates put a lot of emphasis on coming to these restrictor plate races and trying to get a pole, so to get a pole...

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 1st)

"First of all, I'm very, very happy to be on the pole here. Doug and Robert Yates put a lot of emphasis on coming to these restrictor plate races and trying to get a pole, so to get a pole here is pretty cool to see that from their point of view. It's also my first pole for Kevin (Buskirk) as a crew chief in only his second race, so I'm very happy for those guys. They put a lot of hard work and a lot of hours into this restrictor plate car and this motor and everything that's in this 38 car this weekend and it's pretty cool to come in here and sit on the pole."

WHAT ABOUT YOUR CREW CHIEF CHANGE?

"I think Kevin's done a great job. He's been the man behind the scenes now for two years and everybody has really rallied behind him the last few weeks and we really felt like we had something to prove going to Dover. We ran good, led some laps, finished sixth - which is our best finish in a long, long time. And then to come here and sit on the pole again, my guys are just really working hard. We're working really good as a team. We've got eight races to go. We're racing against some great, great race cars for 11th spot, and I can't think of a better way to start a weekend than on the pole, so we'll kind of see what Sunday brings us."

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FINISH 11TH?

"It's very important. No matter, I think, what we do we're still gonna be frustrated as far as not being in the top 10 in points. We really felt like we're a strong enough team to be a part of the chase for the Cup, but circumstances kept us out. We're not gonna cry about it. We're gonna go try to finish 11th. We're racing against some great race teams and anytime you're racing against Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett and Kevin Harvick and Dale Jr. and Jamie McMurray. I could go on and on. I think if we can finish 11th and beat some of these great teams, it would definitely mend some of the wounds that maybe we've gotten from not being part of the chase. But our number one goal, and it's gonna start here Sunday, is to try to get a victory. We had a lot of success last year as far as getting wins and we really want to try to get one before the end of the season comes, and I think we've got a great chance here on Sunday. I think we're gonna have a good car and, if we play our cards right, we'll see what happens."

WHAT ADVANTAGE DOES STARTING ON THE POLE GIVE YOU?

"I think the biggest advantage is pit selection. Here there are so many cars on the lead lap, if you're pitting with somebody in front of you or behind you circumstances are gonna probably show in one of the pit stops while you're pulling in somebody is pulling out, or while you're pulling out somebody is pulling in. And with these restrictor plate motors and the high gears we run in them, if you get bogged down on pit road, you're gonna lose a few positions. Or if it's a green-flag pit stop, you're gonna lose a few seconds and then you've got a chance to lose the draft. So I think qualifying is important as far as I've got an opening now in front of my pit stall, so I don't really have to worry about getting out of my pit stall. I can get out clean and I should be OK. So, for us, qualifying up front, I think, is an advantage because of your pit selection."

IS THERE A CHANCE KEVIN COULD STICK AROUND FOR NEXT YEAR AS CREW CHIEF?

"I think Kevin is definitely gonna stick around next season. If you talk to Kevin, though, I don't know if he wants to be the crew chief or not. I think he loves playing the support role. He's our head engineer. Of course, he might start liking the crew chief job. I don't know. We haven't talked about it yet. As of now, we're definitely looking for a top-notch guy to come in and be our crew chief for next year. We feel like we've got one of the best support groups that we can put around a crew chief to come in and Kevin is definitely leading that support group. But if we keep running good, who knows? But, as of right now, we're still looking. Kevin just means so much to my team and he does a lot of things for the 88 also, it would be kind of hard to put him in one role where he's not helping the whole organization. It would be tough."

IS A FORD READY TO WIN?

"Yeah, I hope so. I think they've won 13 straight races here and that's a lot. Ford has done a good job with the new Ford Fusion, I think, as far as competing next year on restrictor plate race tracks. It's gonna be tough to win here on Sunday for a Ford, I think. I think we have to work together good. We've also got to try to keep the 24 and the 48 away from each other. We've got to try to keep the 8 and the 15 separated. Those guys work together so, so good that it makes it tough to beat them when they gang up on you. We'll see what happens. I had a chance to win this race two years ago in the fall and got flipped on the backstretch. I think I had one of the best Fords here that day and I think my car this weekend is just that good, so we'll see what happens. I would like to say, 'Yeah, we can go out there and beat them,' but until we do so I'm not gonna say that. I think we just need to go out there and work hard and make some good decisions and we'll see if we can run with those guys on Sunday."

-ford

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Kevin Harvick , Jamie McMurray , Robert Yates