Tag:Elliott Sadler
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:08 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:13 pm

Elliott Sadler confirms Waltrip deal won't happen

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Sadler's win Saturday in Phoenix has him in the thick of the Nationwide championship hunt - Getty)

Elliott Sadler
won't run five races for Michael Waltrip Racing's Sprint Cup team after all.

Sadler confirmed Monday on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio's "Sirius/XM Speedway" program the proposed deal that would have put him behind the wheel of MWR's No. 55 Toyota for five races was indeed off as was reported by Fox Sports.com late Sunday night.

"It’s not going to happen,” Sadler said on the program. “After Victory Lane Saturday in Phoenix, Richard Childress called me over to his bus and we had a long heart-to-heart. Richard and his management people at RCR think it’s in our best interest to focus 100% on winning this Nationwide championship, and I agree.”

However Sadler says it wasn't a call by Chevrolet to nix the deal but rather a decision by team owner Childress to keep his focus on winning a Nationwide championship in 2012.

“People have asked me, but that was absolutely not brought up in the meeting I had with Richard," Sadler said of Chevy's role. "Richard has put a lot of effort into building this team, and we’re off to such a good start to the season that we need to put all our eggs in the same basket.
“It was a great honor to be asked to do this by Michael Waltrip, and I appreciate the role Mark Martin played in making it happen, as well. It would have been fun, but I really think we have something special going that we need to focus on, 100 percent."

More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:17 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 9:21 pm

Report: Chevy nixes Sadler's plan with Waltrip

By Pete Pistone

Elliott Sadler's deal to drive five races for Michael Waltrip Racing's Toyota Sprint Cup Series team is in jeopardy.

Fox Sports.com reports Chevrolet, the manufacturer Sadler drives for in his full-time Nationwide Series effort at Richard Childress Racing, won't allow him to pilot MWR's Camry in the proposed five race deal.

Here's the full report:


More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: March 3, 2012 2:43 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 4:03 pm

Elliott Sadler to drive MWR car in five races

By Pete Pistone

Elliott Sadler made his return to the Sprint Cup Series in the Daytona 500 when he piloted a Richard Childress Racing entry.

That outing didn't last long as Sadler was involved in a lap two multi-car accident.

But last year's Nationwide Series second place finisher will get more time in NASCAR's top division this year with a five race deal to drive Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota.

Sadler will make his debut in the ride at Bristol later this month and will also drive in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“This is an awesome opportunity,” said Sadler. “We’ve been talking about this for a while, but wanted to get through Daytona before we announced it to everyone. If I had to pick a place on the circuit to start then Bristol would be my first choice. I’ve had a lot of good memories at Bristol. Martinsville is in my home state of Virginia and I’ve always enjoyed racing at Loudon. I can’t thank Michael and everyone at MWR enough for giving me this opportunity.” 

Waltrip, who will also run four races in the ride that Mark Martin is set for 25 races, explained how Sadler came to drive the No. 55.

“Elliott has the experience and attitude we were looking for,” said Waltrip. “We’ll pair him with Crew Chief Rodney Childers who builds really fast cars. We believe Elliott will do a great job.”

More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 11:28 am

HendrickCars.com to sponsor three NASCAR teams

By Pete Pistone

HendrickCars.com will support three Sprint Cup team efforts this season ironically including two of Hendrick Motorsports' Sprint Cup rivals.

The retail automotive website, which supports Rich Hendrick's business ventures outside his NASCAR program, will lend its support to both Phoenix Racing and Richard Childress Racing in 2012.

The program will kick off during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., with primary sponsorship of Phoenix Racing and 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in the Feb. 25 Nationwide Series race and Feb. 26 Daytona 500. It will continue with primary sponsorship of JR Motorsports and driver Cole Whitt in the March 17 Nationwide event at Bristol Motor Speedway.

In addition, HendrickCars.com will be a major associate sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet with driver Elliott Sadler in NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500.

"Last year's Daytona 500 broadcast alone averaged more than 15 million viewers, and we expect 2012 will be even stronger," said Hendrick, who in addition to owning Hendrick Motorsports is also Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, which owns HendrickCars.com. "Combined with our sponsorship in the Nationwide Series, that's tens of millions of people seeing our brand, hearing our message and then visiting HendrickCars.com. We wanted to showcase the new site, and there's no more effective marketing tool than NASCAR."

James Finch's Phoenix team, which purchases equipment from Hendrick, is obviously pleased with the additional backing for the biggest race of the season.

"We're proud to have HendrickCars.com as our primary sponsor for both races in Daytona," said Finch. "The Hendrick people know how well sponsorships like this work when they're done the right way. Daytona is a big opportunity for our team to build some positive momentum to start the season. Having a sponsor for Speedweeks means a lot to us, and we're going to do everything we can to put HendrickCars.com up front."

The sponsorship of Whitt pairs HendrickCars.com with an up-and-coming young driver and Nationwide Series rookie-of-the-year contender. In his first season at JR Motorsports, Whitt, 20, is joining a No. 88 team that finished fourth in the championship standings in 2011.

"We feel fortunate to be a part of the initiative to drive awareness of HendrickCars.com and the new inventory of cars," said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Vice President of JR Motorsports. "We pride ourselves on having assets both on and off the track to support our sponsors' marketing goals. HendrickCars.com has such an incredible inventory of new and used cars -- literally something for everybody -- and we look forward to doing our part to help with its continued success."

Hendrick is hoping to replicate the success of previous Daytona sponsorships.

In 2009, HendrickCars.com sponsored driver Tony Stewart in the season-opening Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart led 23 laps on his way to winning the event, which drove record traffic to HendrickCars.com.

"Last time HendrickCars.com was a major sponsor of a car at Daytona, the response was overwhelming," said Hendrick, who also is the owner of championship-winning NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports. "It was a big success and ultimately helped drive sales. If we do our part by building a great program, these sponsorships will be another business win for us."

In 2011, HendrickCars.com was a sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, who competes full-time in the NASCAR K&N Series East. HendrickCars.com will continue to support Elliott in 2012, along with having associate sponsor placement on the No. 5 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne throughout the entire Sprint Cup Series season. 

More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:24 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:28 am

2012 Nationwide Series season preview

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Stenhouse Jr. will be back to defend his championship in 2012 and looks to bring Mustang another title)

The days of the Nationwide Series being referred to “Sprint Cup Lite” may be coming to a close. 

Thanks to NASCAR’s new championship system, the disappearance of Cup regulars running full-time in the series and a brand new race car, stock car racing’s number two series is beginning to find an identity of its own. 

The sanctioning body’s decision to mandate drivers choose which championship they intended to compete for at the beginning of last season provided an opportunity for Nationwide-only competitors to shine. Although Sprint Cup drivers won their share of races last season, the title fight that went down to the wire between series regulars Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Elliott Sadler did exactly what NASCAR had hoped it would by providing more exposure and awareness. 

"I think it's worked just the way we wanted it to," said NASCASR CEO Brian France. "We wanted to showcase the young drivers in their own series, and still have the participation of drivers with a lot of experience, and that's exactly what we've gotten. I think it's been good for the young drivers to get some different notoriety and the honor and prestige of winning a championship, and the money that comes with that, and all the best. It's been a good thing." 

Eventual champ Stenhouse had to fight the likes of Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for wins throughout the year but he didn’t have to worry about battling those Cup interlopers for the championship. 

"When they changed the points system, nobody really counted us in," Stenhouse said after claiming the crown for Roush Fenway Racing. “But we felt like as a race team, that gave us an even better shot to win it. We just fought really hard all year. We came into this season feeling like we had a shot at it." 

As the 2012 season nears, Stenhouse will get a shot at back to back titles. Despite some sponsorship issues and the challenge of finding the necessary funding, team owner Jack Roush has committed to bringing Stenhouse back for another title assault. 

“They’re working on sponsorship for it right now, so everything is good,” said Stenhouse, who will also run a handful of Sprint Cup races for RFR including his first Daytona 500. “It sounds like we’re going to be able to go and defend our title again. … We’ve been planning on running for it.”

The road to a second straight crown won’t be an easy one for Stenhouse who will face a tough group of challengers including Sadler and his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon, last year’s Camping World Truck Series titlist. 

The duo is pumped up about their assault on the championship for the restructured and re-energized RCR Nationwide effort, which absorbed the Kevin Harvick Inc. program Sadler drove for last season. 

“I’ve already seen a difference on a lot of stuff,” said Sadler, who will also run the Daytona for RCR in a limited Sprint Cup program. “We feel like right now our cars are prepared as good as we can make them. We really feel like we’ve got our stuff together here to start the first four or five races.” 

Luke Lambert, who worked with RCR Cup driver Jeff Burton at the end of last season, will guide Sadler’s No. 2 Chevrolet team. 

Dillon, team owner Childress’ grandson, will carry the iconic No. 3 entry into his full Nationwide Series program after brining RCR the truck title in 2011. 

He believes his experience and subsequent success last season will be paramount to the road that lies ahead in the Nationwide Series. 

“In 2010, I was able to learn all the Truck Series tracks and that’s what helped me in 2011,” said Dillon. “Kind of knowing what to expect the next year and how to pick up my game, I guess.  

“It was a good year last year winning a championship,” Dillon said. “You want another championship because you know what it feels like standing up there at the table and everything. But I think where we’re at, being a rookie, top five in points and winning a few races would be great. Winning rookie of the year would be great. It’s going to be fun and exciting.” 

Image Detail
(Patrick makes her full-time move to NASCAR in 2012 with a Nationwide Series program for JR Motorsports)

While Stenhouse, Sadler and Dillon bring their own recognition into the new campaign the will have to battle for attention against the highest-profile name on the Nationwide Series driver roster in 2012 – Danica Patrick.

The former open wheel driver will go from dipping her toe into the NASCAR waters to a full dive into the deep end of the pool with a fulltime Nationwide effort at Junior Motorsports. 

Patrick, who spent parts of the last two seasons juggling an Indy Car-NASCAR schedule, believes she’s ready to make the complete move to stock cars. 

“There's a lot of things that are unknown, especially with running the full-time Nationwide championship, wanting to do really well in that and wanting to make a good impression in the Cup races I'm doing," said Patrick, who has a ten race Sprint Cup schedule as well in a collaborative Stewart-Haas Racing/Tommy Baldwin racing effort. "But overall, I'm feeling comfortable, as comfortable as I could imagine myself in this situation." 

Patrick admits she’s learned a lot in her so far limited stint in NASCAR and that she may have to change her approach going forward now as a full-time competitor. 

“There’s still going to be moments for sure where I’m going to be patient and I’m probably am not going to go all the way, but I’m getting more comfortable around the drivers,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to come in and start pushing my way around because that’s not my style.

“Now I’ve been here for a little while, I feel more comfortable with the style of racing, when you can push and when you can’t push. Ultimately, just having a bigger comfort zone with the car is going to give me the ability to push harder and put the car on the track wherever I want and do more with it.” 

Patrick will be teamed up with another driver making a full Nationwide season debut in Cole Whitt, who takes the wheel of the JR Motorsports No. 88 entry vacated when Aric Almirola got the call to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Cup Series. 

The young driver made a solid impression in the truck series and now hopes to capitalize on the opportunity afforded him by co-owners Dale and Kelley Earnhardt. 

“This is a big opportunity for me, and I’m happy to be a part of the JR Motorsports team,” said Whitt. “I’m grateful to Dale, Kelley and everyone at JR Motorsports for giving me this chance. It’s an honor to work with the Eurys, and I will do everything in my power to put this No. 88 team where it belongs in Victory Lane.” 

There are others who will try to make their mark in the Nationwide Series title race this season including Justin Allgaier of Turner Motorsports, Sam Hornish Jr. in a full-time program for Penske Racing and Michael Annett, who wound up at RPM after Rusty Wallace’s team was forced to close up shop. 

There will still be Sprint Cup regular influence with the likes of Keselowski, Kyle and Kurt Busch with the new Kyle Busch Motorsports entry, Kasey Kahne at Turner, Trevor Bayne for RFR and the Joey Logano/Denny Hamlin combo at Joe Gibbs Racing.

But there is a distinct flavor of excitement and anticipation to the 2012 Nationwide season that hasn’t been present for some time.

For more NASCAR news, rumors and analysis, follow @PPistone on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed    

More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:46 pm

RCR No. 33 set for first five Cup races

By Pete Pistone

WELCOME, N.C. - Richard Childress Racing will run a fourth Sprint Cup entry in the first five races of the 2012 season beginning with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the No. 33 Chevy in the Daytona 500.

RCR announced its plans to run the fourth car in addition to the full-time three car driver lineup of Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard during Wednesday's visit to the team's headquarters as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.

Sadler will pilot the car, which earned guaranteed spots in the opening five races of the year thanks to former RCR driver Clint Bowyer's Top 35 points finish a year ago, in the biggest race of the year at Daytona.

"To say it's a dream come true is not saying enough," said Sadler, who will run a full Nationwide Series program for the team. "When Richard (Childress) called me into his office and asked if I wasnted to drive in the Daytona 500 I wanted to hug him."

Brendan Gaughan, who will split time in RCR's Nationwide and Caping World Truck Series programs in 2012, will take over the No. 33 Sprint Cup ride for the next four races after Daytona.

"I can't thank Richard enough," said Gaughan. "Yeh, I'd say it's a dream come true to go through some of what I've dealt with in my racing career and wind up at a place like RCR."

Harvick also announced during the night's presentation that his wife Delana was fourteen weeks pregnant with the couple's first child.

Burton cracked after the announcement "Who's the father?"

Ah teammates.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:21 pm

Daytona 500 start possible for Elliott Sadler

By Pete Pistone

CHARLOTTE - It's looking like Elliott Sadler will get a chance to return to "The Great American Race."

Sadler confirmed that Richard Childress Racing is moving toward fielding an entry in next month's Daytona 500 for the team's current Nationwide Series driver.

"We’re close,” Sadler said. “We’ve got sponsor stuff that we’re trying to work through the details. Richard and I talked about it, if we can get the sponsor stuff worked out, I’ll have a good chance of being in the Daytona 500.

“You can’t do it without a sponsor. We’re trying to get that finalized. The information that’s gotten to me is it is not finalized.”

RCR will run three full-time teams this season but has a guaranteed spot at Daytona for a fourth car thanks to Clint Bowyer's Top 35 points finish last year in the team's No. 33 Chevy.

That effort would allow Sadler to join RCR teammates Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard in the season-opening Daytona race.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:58 pm

Kyle Busch crashes Elliott Sadler in truck race

Posted by Pete Pistone

Kyle Busch felt he was wronged by Elliott Sadler racing for position in Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway and sent the Virginia driver into the wall in a payback move.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com