MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Oct. 13, 2003) -- Elliott Sadler returns this weekend to the site of one of his best finishes of the 2003 campaign and it couldn't come at a better time for the native Virginian. The driver of the M&M's Ford has struggled ...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Oct. 13, 2003) -- Elliott Sadler returns this weekend to the site of one of his best finishes of the 2003 campaign and it couldn't come at a better time for the native Virginian.
The driver of the M&M's Ford has struggled through a dismal three weeks, all three ending in a hard crash.
"I said there had been a black cloud following me, and have heard bad things happen in threes, so hopefully wrecking three weeks in a row is the end of our bad luck this season," Sadler said after his hard, race-ending wreck at Lowe's Motor Speedway Saturday night.
And after three difficult weeks, Sadler feels pretty good coming to Martinsville Speedway, a track where he cut his racing teeth when he was driving Late Model Stock cars a decade or so ago.
"I usually dread going to Martinsville because I have never run real well there," said Sadler. "It's a long race for both the driver and the team if you are struggling, that's for sure."
Last spring's Virginia 500 wasn't a struggle for Sadler, though. He finished fifth, his best ever Martinsville Winston Cup finish, and that's what has him optimistic about this weekend's SUBWAY 500.
"Todd has some good notes and those guys gave me an awesome car last spring at Martinsville," said Sadler, referring to crew chief Todd Parrott.
Sadler will be pulling doubly duty this weekend, a rarity for him. He will attempt to make the field for the Advance Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday, and he believes that could help his Sunday effort.
"I will be running in the truck race and will use that race as a test to gather information we can apply to our Winston Cup car," said Sadler, who has started only one other truck series race. "I think running both races will be good for me as a driver."
While the Advance Auto 200 will allow Sadler to gain input into Sunday's SUBWAY 500, it will also allow his Cup crew to concentrate on qualifying.
"Since track position is real important at Martinsville for pit selection and so you don't go a lap down early on, we are going to focus on qualifying and hopefully will be the class of the Ford's like we have been quite a few times this year," said Sadler.
Sadler will also take time away from the track to lend a hand to fellow driver Kyle Petty and his Victory Junction Camp. Sadler will join Petty, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Craven, Christian Fittipaldi, Jimmie Johnson and Jeremy Mayfield in an autograph session at the Salem Civic Center Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
The SUBWAY 500 weekend at Martinsville Speedway begins with MW Windows Pole Day on Friday. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts 200 is set for 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The Winston Cup cars go under the clock at 3:05 p.m. the same day.
The Advance Auto Parts 200 starts at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday and the SUBWAY 500 at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Good tickets remain for all events and may be ordered toll free at 877-RACE-TIX, 276-956-3151 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. The Martinsville Speedway ticket office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.