Sadler reflects on his racing career, legacy and what’s next
One week ahead of Elliott Sadler’s final race as a full time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, he was asked how he wanted to be remembered.
His answer was simple, honest and, most of all, true to his common-man persona.
“I just hope they (fans) think I was an ordinary guy. I just seem to always get along good with the fans. Just a guy’s guy and that’s the way I want to be remembered.” Sadler said. “More off the track than probably on the track, that I did it the right way.
“Just an ordinary guy that was a fan one time on one side of the fence and just lucky enough to make it to the other side.”
On the driver’s side, he achieved success in each of NASCAR’s three series, earning 13 victories in the Xfnity Series, three wins at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level and one trip to Victory Lane in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010.
But what’s next for the 43 year old? His No. 1 Chevrolet car owner and racing buddy Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired last year, gave Sadler some advice.
“He (Dale Jr.) had a great saying that has really stuck with me: ‘We are not really retiring from something, I’m retiring to something,’” he said. “You know, he was retiring to his family and to the broadcast booth. It’s not really that I’m retiring from racing; I’m retiring to spend more time with my family, retiring to be a baseball and a softball coach full time, so that’s the way I’m looking at it.”
While he may be done with full-time racing, the helmet and fire suit may still come out from time to time. Sadler has his eye on one of the crown jewels of the Late Model world: The annual Late Model Stock Car race at Martinsville Speedway.
“I would love to go run the Martinsville race with the Late Models, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager,” he said. “I’ll go race some go-karts. He (Dale Jr.) and I have both talked about scratching that itch a little bit, get back in a race car somewhere, somehow and just have a little fun, no pressure.”
For Sadler this weekend, though, there will be pressure: Pressure to win his final race as a full-time NASCAR driver on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in South Florida.
And give his storied career a storybook ending.
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