Sadler, FanZCar Survive Bristol With 20th Place Finish BRISTOL, TN - - Hermie Sadler survived a high attrition Sharpie Professional 250 and racked up his second top-twenty finish of the season Saturday at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile,"...
Sadler, FanZCar Survive Bristol With 20th Place Finish
BRISTOL, TN - - Hermie Sadler survived a high attrition Sharpie Professional 250 and racked up his second top-twenty finish of the season Saturday at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile," Bristol Motor Speedway.
Heading into the ½ mile oval, the SCORE Motorsports team arrived with confidence on their side as a week earlier they scored their best finish of the season (18th) thus far at the always-tricky circuit of Darlington Raceway.
46 Busch Series machines eyed for 43 starting positions Friday for the first short track event of the season. Sadler flying The FanZCar colors last weekend navigated his Chevrolet Monte Carlo around the . 533-mile bullring in 15.710 seconds equaling a speed of 122.139 MPH. The lap gained Sadler the 32nd starting position for the event.
The green flag waved Saturday shortly after 1:00pm EST with Sadler jockeying for position. At Bristol, the bottom groove is the preferred place to be at the start of the event as 42 other drivers are darting around looking for a chance to dive in.
The No. 02 Chevrolet Monte Carlo battled a tight condition throughout much of the event, with crew chief Ernie Cope eyeing a chassis adjustment during the first round of pit stops. The yellow flag flew on lap 68 as Jason White in the MacDonald Motorsports machine lost power, leaving his No. 72 trapped at the top of the speedway.
The SCORE team bolted on four new Goodyear Eagles, added Sunoco Racing fuel and made that well needed chassis adjustment with every intention of making The FanZCar machine maneuver easier around the track.
Green flag racing resumed moments after pit stops, with Sadler using veteran patience and experience to make a dash towards the front, and battle lap traffic.
Sadler, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver continued to battle a strong tight condition on his car throughout the second run, the team again hoped during the next series of pit stops, another chassis adjustment would bring magic.
Martin Truex, Jr who was the most dominate machine in the first Bristol race of the season caught up to Sadler during the long span of racing and erased the team from the lead lap just past halfway.
Pit stops occurred again for the teams when Kenny Wallace in the Stacker 2 Chevrolet nudged Ashton Lewis, Jr. Again, the team changed four tires, added fuel and made another adjustment hoping to free the car up during the last run of the day.
Sadler through determination gave all he had during the final green flag run of the day and when a multi-car accident with David Stremme and Johnny Benson developed, the race ended under caution with Sadler picking up his second best finish of the season.
"We were a little off on the chassis, and car was too tight and we had to adjust it to free it up. We are glad to bring the car home in one piece. Hermie did a great job in handling the car being that tight," commented crew chief Ernie Cope.
The 1993 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie-of-the-Year he was a little disappointed with the results. "Although we are not really pleased with how we ran at Bristol, we have seen some improvement in some areas that hopefully will enable us to be a consistent top-ten team in the near future," Sadler stated after completing 248 of the 250 circuits.
"As much as we want results now, we have to remember that I am working with a new crew chief and a completely new group of guys at the shop. The good news is that we have 2 Top 20 finishes in a row, but more importantly, the cars are together so we can make them better," he added.
Even with another comfortable showing on Saturday, Sadler remains 26th in the Busch standings with 416 markers on the board He is 371 points out of first, and is less than 100 points outside the top twenty.
It was a busy weekend for the two-time NASCAR Busch Series winner as he pulled double duty last weekend by running in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event driving the No. 02 East Tennessee Trailers Pontiac Grand Prix in the Food City 500. Sadler started his first Cup start of the season from 42nd, Sadler gained 11 positions throughout the day and loaded up with a 31st place finish and a pretty clean No. 02 Pontiac.
"The Cup race was a learning experience for us. Because we have not been able to test a great deal this year, we learned a lot of things that we can apply to our Busch cars," said the Emporia, Virginia native.
Hermie went on to say, "My next Cup race will be at Martinsville Speedway."
The NASCAR Busch Series will compete this weekend from the "Lone Star" state at Texas Motor Speedway. Sadler and The FanZCar hope to grab their first top-ten finish of the season on Saturday "We are looking forward to Texas. I was in the top five there last year until ten laps to go when I was taken out by a lapped car," explained Hermie.
"Hopefully this year we can get the car going good again, and finish the deal for everyone."