MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - Emporia native Elliott Sadler drove in the Sprint Cup series for 12 years, and finished in the top 10 in points just once. Now he's contending for a championship, and he couldn't be happier.
Sadler, a Virginia native who will run the Friday, September 9, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway, is an avid golfer, but has been focused on his series championship run. He is currently third in the driver point standings, behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Reed Sorenson. With race weekend at Richmond coming up, Sadler met with the media Wednesday at Independence Golf Club.
"I'd rather win here at Richmond than I would the Daytona 500," said the Emporia, VA native, who has never won at Richmond International Raceway. "I've been coming here since I was a kid. I was here when it was just a ½-mile race track. Being able to race here the past 14 or 15 years is very special. I got close here in 2005.. We're already preparing for this racing coming up in a couple of weeks because my guys know how important it is to run well here at Richmond. That would be, by far, the biggest win of my career if we were able to make that happen here at Richmond."
Sadler added that he's had more fun this year running only Nationwide than he ever has running Sprint Cup. He said he appreciates that he's bringing "a gun to a gun fight" after struggling so many years driving Cup for the Evernham and Petty teams.
Following a closest to the pin contest, Sadler met with 75 children attending the Robins Junior Golf Program and handed out autographed hero cards to each attendee. Finally, Sadler was joined by several contest winners, who won the opportunity to compete in a chipping contest into a real race tire. The winners were selected through Twitter.
Sadler returns to Richmond International Raceway Friday, September 9, for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights."