Sadler Rebounds From Wild Talladega Ride With Kentucky Speedway Test
NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler rebounded from his wild Sept. 28 ride at Talladega with a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway today.
Sadler shook down two new M&M's Fords in preparation for this weekend's race at Kansas while Crew Chief Todd Parrott commented on his driver's physical condition and the spectacular incident that sent the No. 38 airborne and flipping down the Talladega backstretch.
"He's (Sadler) doing fine," Parrott said. "Sunday night he called me and said the CAT Scan and everything came back negative and he felt fine. He had a heck of a headache, but other than that, he had no broken bones and everything was good.
"He came by the shop yesterday a bunch of times and we were shocked that he felt as well as he did. It goes to show you how ready these guys are to prepare a car. He went through one of the wildest rides I've ever seen at Daytona or Talladega, and I've seen some wild ones."
Parrott credits Sadler's health to NASCAR safety measures.
"The inside of the car and the driver's cocoon are probably the most unscathed parts of the racecar. Everything did its job," Parrott said. "He was awake for the whole ride. He kept telling himself, 'don't black out, don't black out, don't black out.' He's having a good test here today."
Sadler, who started from the pole for the second time this season before finishing 30th, was vying for his third top-five and 10th top-10 finish of the season when he tried to maneuver his car from the track's center lane to the lower lane. The No. 38 skid and went airborne after it was clipped from behind by the No. 97of Kurt Busch during the move.
"From the word I've gotten and from watching the tapes, he (Sadler) said he had such a good run and whoever was behind him was pushing him through the center lane," Parrott said. "(The lower lane) was the only lane that really moved rapidly all day. He said he got himself in position, got a run and was focusing on the 15-car in front of him, trying to decide whether he was going to pass on the inside or the outside.
"Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the No. 8 car move left on him and he just reacted to it. He thought he had the No. 97 cleared. He thought he was running fast enough and never looked. The hole closed up. He thought the No. 8 car was going to cut down in front of him and he had such a run that he didn't want to get into the No. 8 car and turn him. It's just unfortunate."
Parrott said his team was disappointed that its strong day ended in such dramatic fashion.
"We were very disappointed. It was the best shot at a restrictor-plate race at Robert Yates Racing since we won the (Daytona) 500 in 2000 with Dale Jarrett," Parrott said. "I was reading yesterday that we stayed in the top-10 longer than any other car, like 160 laps. As you all know, the way the competition is at Talladega and the way restrictor-plate racing is, to stay in the top-10 for that number of laps you have to have a strong car. He had a run, he felt like he had a shot at going for the lead there and it's very unfortunate. We had a great a racecar and we felt like it was capable of winning the race."
Sadler enters the Kansas race 20th in the series points standings.