Elliott Sadler made no bones about it when saying he felt given the right situation he’d be in the thick of things in the Sprint Cup Series. While in the midst of what might eventually be known as his rebirth in the Nationwide Series, Sadler isn’t willing to settle for not running with the big boys.
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”240″][/media-credit]Speaking Thursday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway where the NNS is preparing for Saturday’s Top Gear 300, Sadler was candid about both his current and past situation. Even before he did so though, it was clear as it has been since the season started, that he’s perfectly happy racing for Kevin Harvick Inc in the NNS where he’s leading the points. He’s competitive, he’s happy and he’s relevant again for all the right reasons. But he did admit that some things just aren’t the same.
“I do miss the Cup Series,” he said. “I’d be lying if I told you I don’t miss racing on Sunday’s. Do I miss the situation I’ve been in the last couple of years? I don’t want to cuss, but heck no. I have learned that this sport is a lot more fun when you have a team around you and a supporting cast around you that believes in you and wants to do [well] at the racetrack week in and week out. That’s whether your racing go-karts, Trucks, Nationwide, Cup or what have you.”
It’s the reason Sadler says, that should he ever get the opportunity to race on Sunday’s again, he’s going to make sure he does so with a competitive team. With a team that acts as one and not, not ride around just for the sake of saying that he’s a NSCS driver.
“I’ve had the most fun this year I’ve had since I drove the 38 car for Robert Yates,” he said.
That was during a time when Sadler not only ran up front in the Cup Series but won races. Perhaps, the best years of his life. In 2004 he found the winner’s circle twice and finished eighth in points. But the last few seasons Sadler has been nowhere to be seen and struggled at Richard Petty Motorsports where he said he learned to bit his tongue.
Sadler though wasn’t done revealing. He stated that no matter how hard a driver works in the racecar if the team doesn’t believe in you, it’s not going to work.
Now with a team of proven winners and with many preseason predictions of a championship, Sadler doesn’t feel pressure. That’s easy when as he says, he’s got an “army” of guys around him and an owner who will do anything to make sure they’re fast. That, according the Virginia native is cool.
“I’ll give you a perfect example,” said Sadler. “I see all you guys in here with your cool computers and probably have the latest and greatest technology. Say I give you a story right now to break, it’ll be the biggest story ever and I give one of you guys a computer and I give one of you guys a hammer, a chisel and a stone. I want you to write the story before the other guy finishes it. If not I don’t want to hear no excuses, you should be able to do that. That’d kind of be the same thing I went through.”
It’s not what he’s going through now. But Sadler made it clear that he couldn’t say that he would be happy racing in the Nationwide Series the rest of his life.
“If my career ending as a Nationwide driver would I be happy, heck no. My goal is to one day make it back to Sprint Cup because I feel like I can drive circles around half the guys over there if I was in their equipment or in the same situation they were in. My goal is to win a championship this year in the Nationwide Series maybe next and if something good comes along, go back.”