Richard Childress Racing
February 21, 2012
Elliott Sadler Event Preview: DRIVE4COPD 300
"I think going to Daytona and getting started on the right foot means a lot to a race team and to a driver as far as his confidence. I feel as if I am a good restrictor-plate driver, so I am feeling good going into the race."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Impala
February 25, 2012
Daytona International Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's OneMain Financial Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet team will utilize Chassis No. 499 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series shop. Sadler drove this superspeedway chassis in 2011 at Kevin Harvick Inc., earning a pole award and fifth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway and an eighth-place finish in the July race at Daytona.
Fond Memories ... Sadler has competed at Daytona in the Nationwide Series five times with a best finish of eighth in July 2011 and has led 61 laps around the 2.5-mile track. He also has experience at the superspeedway across two other NASCAR series, making 24 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with four top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He also made two starts at the Daytona Beach, Fla., track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with one top-five finish and 56 laps led.
One Goal with OneMain Financial ... In 2011, Sadler claimed five poles, 12 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes in the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet for KHI but came up 45 points shy of winning the series driver's point championship. This season, Sadler returns to the cockpit once again with sponsorship from OneMain Financial, this time with his new team at RCR. It may be a new team, but the driver has the same goal in mind: to win the Nationwide Series championship.
New Faces ... Sadler joins the RCR stable as the new driver on the block, joining the organization after the 2011 merger with Kevin Harvick Inc. Luke Lambert will serve as the crew chief on the No. 2 Chevrolet, transitioning from the interim crew chief position on the No. 31 Sprint Cup Series team to serve on top of the OneMain Financial pit box.
Last Time By ... In the first event of the season at Daytona International Speedway in 2011, bad luck struck Sadler on lap 24 as his car sustained heavy front-end damage in a crash. The team was relegated to a 38th-place finish. Sadler returned to Daytona for the July event, leading 31 laps before a fiery incident on the last lap resulted in an eighth-place finish.
Top of the Board ... Daytona International Speedway is the location of Sadler's first-career Nationwide Series pole in 1997.
Double-Duty ... The Emporia, Va., native will be a busy man this weekend, competing in the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series events. Following the Nationwide Series event Saturday, Sadler will take the helm of RCR's No. 33 General Mills/Kroger Chevrolet for the 54th running of the Daytona 500.
Meet the Driver ... Sadler will make an appearance at the Sprint FanZone at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9:30 a.m. Sadler will be part of a question-and-answer session hosted by the track.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTES:
What did you learn running for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship?
"I can tell you the first couple of weeks after Homestead, I was 'hungover' pretty bad as far as not winning the championship. That's what our goal was when we started the season. Now, I'm more into dissecting things that I can do better that I didn't do as well last year to give me a better chance of winning the championship this season."
What progress was made in the off-season at RCR?
"We kind of had an idea of where we needed to be and should be this off season as a race team, and we feel that we have made some gains this year with downforce, side force and the weight of the car. There are a lot of the little things that add up. I really feel like we have made big gains where we needed to this off season."
How important is it to get off on the right foot at Daytona?
"It seems like momentum feeds off Daytona. I think since you are down there for so long, up to two weeks, it adds to the anticipation. There is so much effort that goes into the off-season, so much wind tunnel time. If you get to Daytona and you don't have the start that you wanted, a little air goes out of your balloon. I think going to Daytona and getting started on the right foot means a lot to a race team and to a driver as far as his confidence. I feel as if I am a good restrictor-plate driver, so I am feeling good going into the race."
What does it mean to have Tony Stewart a as teammate at RCR for the race at Daytona?
"Tony Stewart is remarkable on restrictor plate races. I know that he has never won the Daytona 500, but he is so good there in the July races. People want to draft with him, and that's a big advantage when you are in the field and people are looking for you to draft. You 100 percent have a drafting partner to help. He's going to be the guy to beat. I know how fast his car is. I know what one he's got. He's got a good engine, plus, he's Tony Stewart."
Will you points race or race for the win at Daytona?
"That's a good question. I feel like I points raced too much last season. I raced to not lose a point rather than to try to gain an extra point. I'm going to Daytona, and I want to win the race. If it gets me in trouble, it gets me in trouble. We have the rest of the season to points race and make it back up."