by Carol D'Agostino
When Elliott Sadler addressed the media this morning at Richmond International Raceway, he did so in two distinct and equally important roles – as a competitor and as a fan.
“I was here in the grandstands when the race was in March. I was a fan first, watching the race from the grandstands. My family and friends have tickets. In fact, I just bought 50 tickets at the box office. My phone has been blowing up since my win last week in Darlington,“ said Sadler, who grew up in Emporia, Va., just an hour south of the track.
After getting his first career win at Darlington Raceway last weekend, momentum may be on his side.
“The Darlington win was really special. My wife and family were there, and when you have to hold off someone like Denny Hamlin, it is really something special,” he said.
That home track win at Richmond has eluded Sadler who has three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 26 NASCAR XFinity Series starts at Richmond International Raceway.
"Richmond is one of my favorite tracks," he said. "It’s close to the house, and it is always a fun weekend. I love short-track racing, especially in Virginia. We’ve got a chance to win back-to-back races, so we are going to go hard this weekend."
As the regular season draws to an end with tonight’s Richmond race, the XFinity Series will begin their first Chase. Sadler is the only driver in NASCAR history to qualify for the inaugural Chase in both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series. Sadler, who will start tonight's race from the eighth spot, currently holds a 54-point lead over Daniel Suarez in the point standings.
Regardless of whether he wins this evening or not, Sadler will have quite a cheering section.
“Half of my son’s first grade class will be here," he said.
|Credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs|