CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 10, 2000) As the resident "ironman" in NASCAR's Busch Series Grand National Division, Elton Sawyer has built a reputation for longevity. He's pretty strong in the consistency department, too. Sawyer heads into the Busch ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 10, 2000) As the resident "ironman" in NASCAR's Busch Series Grand National Division, Elton Sawyer has built a reputation for longevity. He's pretty strong in the consistency department, too. Sawyer heads into the Busch Series' latest off weekend riding a string of 10 top-10 finishes in 11 events. The lone exception in that run was a 24th-place finish at Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 22.
"All in all we're extremely pleased with the way the season has gone for the Lysol team," Sawyer said. "Ricky Viers and everyone at Akins Motorsports has done a tremendous job preparing the cars week in and week out. I couldn't be more pleased, other than the fact that we haven't led enough laps and we haven't won a race yet."
The consistent season of Sawyer -- and the rest of the Busch Series contenders -- has been overshadowed by Jeff Green, who is on course to shatter the record for the largest winning margin in the history of the Busch Series' points battle.
With 10 races left, Sawyer is sixth in the points standings, but he is just 175 out of second place.
"Jeff Green and his team, obviously they've done a tremendous job and have done their homework and have been hitting on all eight cylinders, if you will, and they've pretty much can go ahead and put their name on the trophy for the championship," Sawyer said, "but from second on back to maybe seventh or eighth, we've got a pretty good battle going."
Sawyer has been battling in the Busch Series for quite some time. He has made 346 starts on the circuit, second on the all-time list only to the 417 of Tommy Houston.
Sawyer has won more than $3 million in a Busch Series career that dates back to Oct. 30, 1983, at the Martinsville Cardinal 500 Classic. Sawyer finished 30th that day and won $640.
"The first few years there when the race was over we waited in the lines at the payoff window to get paid so we could get home," Sawyer recalled. "Obviously now it's got to the point that drivers and crew members and hopefully the owners are getting to the point where they can make a good living at this, so to go over a milestone like a $3 million mark, that's just something that I really can't hardly explain or even put into words. I mean, I feel honored to at least be around long enough to have seen the series grow and to be just a small part of it."
Sawyer is using his off weekend to get in touch with his racing roots by returning to Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. The track where Sawyer got his start in the sport is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, and Sawyer will take part in several activities at the facility to help note the occasion.
"To still be involved in the NASCAR Busch Series, I'm so fortunate and I really appreciate everything that all the sponsors have done and all the car owners that have participated in the series and stuck with it when early on it was tough," Sawyer said.