Sadler Races to Victory in Ford EcoBoost 300 at BMS
Elliott Sadler claimed Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, his second Nationwide Series win of the 2012 season.
Sadler, a previous winner at BMS in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series, led the last 36 laps to capture the victory. After a disappointing 2011 Nationwide season, Sadler was excited with his second win of 2012, especially since the victory came at one of his favorite tracks.
The Emporia, Va. native drove to the win after his crew chief, Luke Lambert, left Sadler out on the final series of pit stops.
“Wow. How about a great call by Luke Lambert?,” Sadler said about his crew chief. “He reminded me I won a race in 2001 by doing the same thing. What a great day! This is Bristol. I wanted this one worse than anything because I love this racetrack so much. It was a great call by Luke.
“For the first win ever in my NASCAR career, my parents are here,” he said excitedly. “This is special for me. My mom is going to enjoy victory lane with me!”
Sadler’s mother joined him in Victory Lane after the race.
“This is my baby,” she screamed with excitement.
Sadler issued a warning to his fellow competitors after racking up his second win in four starts this season.
“There is blood in the water as they say. After what I’ve been through the last couple years in racing, this sure feels good.”
Second-place runner Kasey Kahne tried to snag the win, but knew his opposition was tough.
“Elliott was strong once it went green,” Kahne said. “I tried to get a good start and get in front of the 22 because you knew Brad would be fast. We ended up getting a good finish for what we had. It was a great run.
“We knew we needed to keep track position. We just needed to stay out and we did. It was nice to get a top-five today. I watch Elliott right now and he is as happy as he has been. He is a good racer and has a lot of confidence. I am happy for him.”
Brad Keselowski drove to a third-place finish, but did not have enough to run down the eventual winner.
“He (Sadler) had a fast car,” said Keselowski. “You can’t say he won that on strategy to my mind. The 2 (Sadler) and the 6 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) have been the two fastest cars since the end of last year. They’ve both got it going on…I certainly drove my rear off to get a third.”
A close call during a late-race pit stop almost interrupted the day for both Sadler and Keselowski. Sadler made a fake in to the pits and pulled back on to the track. During the move, Keselowski hit Sadler in the rear.
“I think Elliott was trying to juke and his car didn’t turn,” explained Keselowski. “I was pitting either way; I don’t know about him. But when his car didn’t turn, I thought we were both going to wreck ….When he went to juke, his car didn’t turn and I clobbered him. It was one of those racin’ deals I guess. We were both lucky we both didn’t end up in a wad.”
With just more than 100 laps to go, Roush Fenway teammates Trevor Bayne and Stenhouse Jr. put on an impressive battle, which may have reminded some fans of their recent internet feud, Ricky vs. Trevor.
Joey Logano, who started the event from the pole, finished in fourth, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. notching a fifth-place effort. Stenhouse Jr. came home sixth, with Justin Allgaier, Bayne, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Truex rounded out the top-10.
The Widow Wax 125 presented by Seal Wrap Repair Tape is set to follow the Ford EcoBoost 300.
Tickets still are available for Sunday’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series event.
For more information about Bristol tickets, please call 423-BRISTOL or visit www.bristoltix.com.