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Sources have told the Frontstretch Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that’s preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday AM is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. That Cup announcement has been put on hold due to Hamlin’s injury; ironically, Sadler’s expected fill-in role will serve as an extended audition.
Sadler has been runner-up in the Nationwide Series championship the last two seasons after taking a step away from Cup competition. In 430 career Cup starts, beginning in 1998 he’s won three times, collected 19 top-5 finishes, 69 top 10s and eight pole positions. His last start was in the 2012 Daytona 500, running 27th after being at the epicenter of a multi-car wreck early on that wiped out several contenders. Michael Waltrip Racing had hired him for a limited schedule after that, but Richard Childress and Chevrolet, his employers at the time blocked his deal with the No. 55 car due to manufacturer conflicts. That put current teammate Brian Vickers in that seat, which now opens the door for Sadler on this side (Vickers will drive for MWR in Martinsville in two weeks).
There are no conflicts on the Nationwide schedule that would affect Sadler until early June.
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I would put Kyle Larson in that car!!!
One can’t help but like Elliott Sadler as a person, however, Elliott as a compeditor doesn’t have the killer instinct that say KB or BK has. Kyle Larson fits that profile however, he is already locked into the Chevrolet camp.
Brian Vickers is the better choice in that nationwide stable. I’d buy out his contract from Waltrip. He can at least put the 11 car in victory lane.
I would not choose Sadler. He reminds me of Michael Waltrip. Why he’s still around driving and always in front of a camera I can’t figure it out. Last Saturday was a typical Sadler race. Started out he had the fastest car and found a way to an average finish.Yes he had to switch ignition boxes, but the good drivers overcome those things.Like I said, he’s a journeyman driver who like M.Waltrip has figured some way to stay around , I guess by being sponsor friendly and appealing to quite a few fans. Not me however, someone else belongs in the 11 car, it’s a winning car and needs a winning driver.Vickers is a better choice!
I think Vickers is only committed to MWR for the 2 races at Martinsville and 2 at Bristol. Also the 2 road course races. In the past two years Sadler didn’t show me much when he could not beat Ricky S. for the NW Championship two years in a row.
ES should not drive that car. He is not qualified. When is the last time he didn’t wreck at Martinsville? I agree he is like MW.
I think that Elliott Sadler will be a Good Choice for Denny Hamlin’s Relief Driver. Since Brian Vickers is Scheduled to Drive the #55 at Martinsville.
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Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!