The Lugnut Report: Elliott Sadler Rebounds For A

Elliott Sadler during the week on Sirius Satelite radio said his crew was going to focus more on qualifying.

He said this because last week he started toward the back of the field and with the pace of the race found himself a lap down early.

The team focused on qualifying on Friday and that paid off they started eighth on Sunday. The team carried a lot of confidence coming into practices on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

In the practices following qualifying Sadler ran 26 laps total and was 22nd fastest on the speed charts. The team was really trying to get the handling dialed in the car for final practice.

The final practice did not go as well as they had hoped. They really could not lay down a fast lap and they struggled with the speed of the car.

They ran only 13 laps but were only 28th fastest on the charts. The team knew the adjustments that were going to be needed in hope that they made the right changes for Sunday’s race.

The Richard Petty Motorsports teams as a whole had fast cars in all the practices but when it came to race day this team really seemed to struggle.

Immediately after the green flag Sadler dropped back to 12th and quickly fell back as he was struggling with the handling of his race car.

Sadler ran between 18th and 25th for most of the day. He was really struggling with handling on lap 225 caution came out. They were deciding whether or not to stay out and take a chance on a quick caution.

Sadler and his team though could not get the car the way he wanted. Sadler was a lap down with less than 80 to go.

Sunday did not go as they planned. Their strong qualifying run did not benefit them.

On the caution for Denny Hamlin tire going down they took the wave around to get back on the lead lap. On the restart Sadler and Max Papis had contact causing damage to Sadler’s car.

Late in the race with multiple cautions had Sadler back on the lead lap and was able to take advantage of fresh tires.

The late caution allowed them to get tires and with a few cars with crash damage after the Jamie McMurray incident Sadler was able to rebound for a 19th place finish.

Sadler is now 25th in the standings heading into the first off weekend of the season. Sadler is in a critical year, he needs to make the Chase or at least contend for the Chase in 2010.

The last few years there has been way too many “what if’s” and he needs to start producing results.

His next chance is at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21st.
The Lugnut Report: Elliott Sadler Rebounds For A The Lugnut Report: Elliott Sadler Rebounds For A Reviewed by Anonymous on Sunday, March 07, 2010 Rating: 5