Talladega: Sadler post-qualifying interview

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "I think Sunday is gonna go pretty good. To get a great starting position is always key. You want to try to stay ahead of the pack, of course, here as much as you can. My guys brought a ...

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"I think Sunday is gonna go pretty good. To get a great starting position is always key. You want to try to stay ahead of the pack, of course, here as much as you can. My guys brought a brand new race car. We're the fastest Ford. We're the best in class, so that says a lot about all my guys in the fab shop and the motor room. Todd Parrott is really, really good on speedway stuff, so that's a great starting spot for us."

CAN THE FORDS COMPETE ON SUNDAY? "Ya'll have all the stats in here. When is the last time Ford won a race here, 1998? And how many percentage of the laps have we led here in the last five or six years. I mean, it's tough. Fords have a hard time in restrictor plate races, we all know that. I think we're trying to get our program better, but with some of the rules and the drag and stuff, when we untape the Fords we just gain a lot more drag, I think, than the Chevrolets do and those guys are good. They know that. The Chevrolets are all gonna stick together because they know they're the ones to beat. Some of the Fords just have to keep working together and stick together. The 97 is gonna have a good car, I think. I think that's the same car from the 500 and my teammate brought his same car. We're just gonna have to work together and see what happens and I want to see if we can run with them. We didn't really run with them that much here last year, and maybe we made some gains and made it a little bit better."

ARE QUALIFYING AND RACING JUST COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HERE? "Yeah, I think so. I think there are so many tricks and stuff you can do as teams to make your car qualify good or not. DEI has a great race package. When they untape their car it doesn't slow down at all. I think it gets faster and I don't think you're gonna worry about the 15 and 8 staying in the back very long. I think they're gonna be the ones to beat when it's all said and done. Qualifying is qualifying. We love to trim these things out as much as you can, but you can't run 500 miles that hard on the motor with the timing and stuff we put in it, and the oils and the lubes and stuff we do to the rear end and stuff like that. You can't do that for 500 miles, so I think it all evens itself out."

DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ACCIDENTS YOU'VE HAD HERE THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS? "Yeah, I'm thinking about it. The last two fall races I've been here I've ended up on my lid one way or the other and that's not fun to think about. I just think it's hard to come to Talladega and ask 43 human beings to be perfect for three-and-a-half hours. We're gonna have a wreck pretty much. We know it's gonna happen, but we don't know when. Racing is becoming tougher because not only are we drafting nose to tail anymore, drivers are figuring out how to side draft off each other. So if you're in the middle lane, not only are the guys off the bottom trying to suck air off your left side, you've got guys on the outside trying to suck air off your right side and it gets pretty tight in there. The big one can happen that way. It's tough racing. It's just hard for all of us to be perfect and not make any mistakes for that long and when that happens, wrecks happen whether you get in the wall or slipping or whatever. But, yeah, I'm thinking of it. I know my crew is thinking of it because they built me a brand new car and Todd named it 'heads up' to tell the fans heads up when I come by. So we're trying to be comical about it."

IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO QUALIFY HERE? "I'd say let's all draw a pill out of a hat. I really wish this was an impound race. I think it would save a lot of work for the inspectors and a lot of work for our guys. It doesn't really matter where you qualify here or Daytona. I wish they would qualify, impound them, and let our guys rest a little bit, instead of making all 43 cars go back through inspection early Sunday morning and go through the same stuff with the shocks and the springs and all of that. I really liked to have seen that done one time. It would seem to make today more useful than what it really is. I really would like to see them go to all restrictor plate races as impound races."

SHOULD THEY JUST TAKE THE PLATE OFF AND RACE THAT WAY? "That's cool. Tell the fans to back up because you know what's gonna happen if we run that fast. I already got airborne pretty high a couple of years ago at 180. I don't know what's gonna happen at 230."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup