VETERAN ROOKIE: Despite being a 16-year NASCAR veteran, this weekend Elliott Sadler will encounter the 1.333-mile D-shaped oval of Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since the complex opened in 2001. Although he has yet to make a lap at the intermediate track, by the time he hits the concrete for Saturday's Nashville 300, he will have already taken a green flag at the Music City track. In addition to this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series event, Sadler is participating in Friday night's Bully Hill Vineyards 200 in Kevin Harvick Inc.'s (KHI) No. 21 Truck Series entry, giving him 150 laps of racing action in preparation for the Nationwide Series event.
ANYONE ORDER A PIZZA?: The No. 2 Chevrolet Impala is going green this weekend with Nashville, Tenn.-based primary sponsor Hunt Brothers Pizza. With more than 6,000 locations in 28 states and growing, Hunt Brothers is the No. 1 convenience store pizza brand on the market.
AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH: During the month of April, Sadler and the rest of the NASCAR community will celebrate Autism Awareness month. Sadler, whose niece was diagnosed with Autism a few years ago, started the Hermie and Elliott Sadler foundation which raises funds to help educate those who have children that are affected by the spectrum disease which reportedly affects 1 in every 110 children in the United States.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza team will utilize chassis No. 064 this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. This is the same chassis that Sadler raced to a fourth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March. Chassis No. 064 was also the car that KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick drove to victory lane at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway last fall.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Polesitter Elliott Sadler made it through the season's most notorious "wild card" race, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, to earn his fourth straight top-five finish. After losing his drafting partners to early-race incidents, Sadler persevered to finish fifth, gaining one position in the Driver Point Standings, now sitting only five points out of first place.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Elliott Sadler
I honestly love going to a new place for the first time.
How do you approach going to a racetrack that you've never raced before such as Nashville Superspeedway?
"A good way to approach a track that you've never been to before is to watch races and in-car camera feeds from the track before you get there. I also like to talk to different drivers who have experience at that particular track. I've already talked to a couple different guys, leaning on them a little bit as far as going to that track and being successful. One of them is Clint Bowyer who has always had success in Nashville. I've also got to lean on my crew chief a little bit to learn what the track is going to do as it rubbers up, because I do not have that experience."
How do you feel going into this weekend?
"I feel really good. We've got plenty of practice time, and KHI has been very successful in Nashville in the past. They're always competitive at the track and we're the defending winners at the spring race. I think this weekend is going to come down to track time and getting used to the racetrack. I honestly love going to a new place for the first time. It brings a lot of excitement because you feel like you've got to bring you're A-game and really adapt to the track as fast as you can as a driver to really have a competitive edge."