Richard Childress Racing
May 12, 2012
Late-Race Incident Spoils Chance at Victory for Elliott Sadler at Darlington Raceway
"This was heartbreaking. I hate it for everyone at RCR, OneMain Financial and all of our partners. I know that the No. 2 guys are all behind me, good or bad."
Start - 6
Finish - 24
Laps Led - 14
Points - 2
A crushing incident while leading on a late-race restart relegated Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team to a 24th-place finish on Friday night at Darlington Raceway. The Richard Childress Racing team showed speed earlier in the day, scoring a sixth-place starting position for Friday evening’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. As the green flag dropped, the Emporia, Va., native moved forward and settled into the fifth position for the first half of the race, running lap times as fast as the leaders. He reported to the OneMain Financial team that the Chevrolet lacked front grip, and crew chief Luke Lambert led the No. 2 crew to try to alleviate the problem with minor adjustments throughout several pit stops. As the race progressed, Sadler continued to focus on each position. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 126, Lambert directed the RCR team to service the OneMain Chevrolet with right-side tires only. The quick stop helped the team gain four positions on the race track and Sadler restarted as the leader. Lined up on the inside, Sadler quickly drove to a commanding lead before the yellow flag waved with 10 laps remaining. As the leader, Sadler once again chose the bottom line for the restart. As the green flag waved and the field headed into turn one, the No. 2 Chevrolet was bumped from behind and turned into the retaining wall. With damage beyond repair, Sadler settled for a 24th-place finish, his first finish outside of the top-12 this season. Sadler remains in the second position in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 23 points behind the leader.
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:
“This was heartbreaking. I hate it for everyone at RCR, OneMain Financial and all of our partners. I know that the No. 2 guys are all behind me, good or bad, whichmakes the difference between a team that wins a championship and a team that doesn’t. We are going to re-group and come back strong next week at Iowa Speedway.”