News & Media


In the Draft: Refocusing on rest of the season

October 04, 2011, Elliott Sadler, Special to NASCAR.COM, NASCAR.com

Sadler moves on from his sponsor's race to the final five races of 2011

The temperatures are cooling off here in Emporia, Va., but it seems like things on the track are heating up!

"I not only want to win because we have worked so hard this year, but I want to win to give back to Kevin and DeLana for believing in me, to our sponsors for supporting us and for everyone who continues to work tirelessly toward our goals."

--ELLIOTT SADLER

It was a big weekend at Dover International Speedway for us. OneMain Financial sponsored the race, which was exciting for everyone. We started off the week heading to Baltimore to the OneMain Financial headquarters. Along with Kevin and DeLana Harvick, we had the opportunity to hang out with the employees, answer questions and sign autographs for everyone. I've been in the sport for quite a few years, and it's something special to have the support system and excitement surrounding a racing program like we have with the No. 2 team. That is something that I am reminded of everyday, and it serves as continual motivation to continue pushing toward the championship. I not only want to win because we have worked so hard this year, but I want to win to give back to Kevin and DeLana for believing in me, to our sponsors for supporting us and for everyone who continues to work tirelessly toward our goals.

Once we got to Dover, the weekend seemed to fly by because we were so busy. Since it was the OneMain Financial 200, I had the opportunity to participate in an Open Track Session. Fans were able to walk around the frontstretch, which is pretty cool because Dover is such a unique place. They don't call it the Monster Mile for nothing! Kevin, DeLana and I got on stage and answered questions from the many fans that came out early to the track. I also got to hang out with a lot of the OneMain Financial guests that came for the race.

Qualifying went well for us, and we earned our fourth pole award of the season. Behind the scenes, it's a quick process for the pole winner. Once qualifying is over and the field was set, I headed to the Nationwide Series hauler where the pole board is set up. I took photos with the pole award hat and flag with the backdrop, then photos with Miss Coors Light. From there, I did interviews with a few media members and then headed to the drivers' meeting. It all seems to go so quickly!

Starting from the front is always great, but especially this race with more than 4,000 OneMain Financial employees and customers in the stands. We had a really good car throughout much of the race, but right after we made a green-flag pit stop, a car hit the barrels entering pit road, bringing out the caution. This put us one lap down to the leaders, and we were not able to get the lap back. We finished 14th, which was disappointing after our strong start to the weekend.

With five races left on our schedule, there's a 22-point difference between us and the leader for the Nationwide Series championship. Coming up in the next two weeks, we head to Kansas and Charlotte. Although I've only competed once at Kansas in the Nationwide Series, I've been there 10 times with the Sprint Cup Series, so I'm pretty comfortable with the 1.5-mile track. Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks so I'm looking forward to the next few races.

Until next time ... HOLLA!

In the Draft with Elliott Sadler is a twice-monthly blog and the opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. Follow him and the No. 2 KHI team on Twitter: @Elliott_Sadler, @OneMainRacing or @KHI_NNS.