Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion, qualified 12th for tomorrow's AMD at the Glen. After the first practice session, Sadler spoke about the race and his decision last month to leave Robert Yates Racing. ELLIOTT SADLER - No....
Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion, qualified 12th for tomorrow's AMD at the Glen. After the first practice session, Sadler spoke about the race and his decision last month to leave Robert Yates Racing.
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion
YOU SAID YESTERDAY THAT YOU WEREN'T THAT GREAT OF A ROAD RACER BUT YOU ARE THE HIGHEST QUALIFYING FORD. "That's a good run for us. I just think I've never been really, really fast on road course races, but just been smart enough to stay on the track - knowing when to push the car and when not to push the car; knowing when to save gas and not to save gas and things like that. It's usually worked out pretty good for us. We're usually a seventh to 15th-place car and driver, so to qualify 12th yesterday and to have the fastest Ford here was special to me and special to my guys. They did a lot work getting ready for this race. Cully's got a lot of great ideas and so far, so good. I think we're a decent car. I think we're a top 12 or 13th-place car again. I understand certain parts of the track and there are certain parts of the track I wish I was a little better at, but we're gonna keep working hard on it and see where that takes us."
IS THE KEY JUST STAYING ON THE TRACK ALL DAY? "That's what I do. There are certain parts of the race, like on restarts, where you've got to be aggressive and try to get the most you can because things get spread out and it's hard to pass here. But sometimes during the long stretch of a green flag run, if you just stay on the track, save your brakes, save your transmission and not worry about killing it, then you're gonna be in the race the whole time. You're not gonna have a transmission problem; you're not gonna have an engine failure. I think it's knowing when to attack the track and when not to attack the track. If you stay on the track, a lot of people seem to drive over their head and take themselves out, so those guys you don't have to worry about."
WHO ARE THE KEY GUYS TO LOOK FOR TOMORROW? "The same guys that are always good. Tony (Stewart) and Jeff (Gordon) are so awesome. Kurt Busch has been very, very fast this year on road courses, Ryan Newman, Robby Gordon. These guys are just great road racers, one, and, two, I think they know what they need out of their car. They know how to make it balanced for a lot of different corners, whether they're going right or left. That's something with me, when I try to fix it in one corner, I forget what it does to another one and then you've got to back up a little bit. We're gonna keep working on it and keep trying to make things better, but to have that kind of qualifying run yesterday really felt good to me. We think we've got a good, decent car and we'll move on from there."
HOW FRUSTRATING HAS IT BEEN THE LAST FEW WEEKS WITH PEOPLE WANTING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN RACING? "It's been awful the last month. It's been tough personally because of the decision I have made to leave Robert Yates Racing. Was it a good decision? I don't know. Only time will tell whether it's gonna work out for both parties or not, but I definitely feel like I'm leaving a family because that's just the way they treat you over there. So it's been tough and I haven't really been ready to talk about my future and things I want to do. It's definitely coming around the corner and I've made my decision, but I want to do it all in the right way and in a timely manner. But it's been tough, I'm not gonna lie to you. I haven't slept in a month. I've been sleeping about two hours a night now just tossing and turning and wondering. You always wonder if you're doing the right thing or the wrong thing. You affect more people than you really want to, so it's been tough but, hopefully, this will benefit everybody and the decisions everyone makes will be good and we'll move on from there."
IS IT EVEN HARDER CONSIDERING THERE ARE NO REAL SECRETS IN THIS GARAGE AND PEOPLE CAN KIND OF SEE WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN? "Yeah, that's made it tough. There have been a lot of changes the last few weeks that I think has sped up everybody's transition and you get to a point now of do you wait until the winter to make your changes and decisions, or do you do it now and go ahead and work on the future? That's where we stand right now, not only myself but Doug and Robert Yates because I committed to them 100 percent to race as long as they want me to race in the 38 car. I want to be the M&M's guy as long as they want me to and whether that ends in a couple of weeks for them to work on their future, then that's what I want to do. But I want to leave the decision up to Doug and let us talk about it and do it mutually because there's one thing I'm not gonna do, I am not gonna end this relationship with Robert Yates on bad terms. I'm just not gonna do it. We're gonna do things the right way. We're gonna do things the best way we can, not only for our sponsors but for the team and then we'll go from there. I think it's ultimately up to Doug and I as far as what we think is best for his race team and my future and we're gonna try to work together on that."
-credit: ford racing