Winner of contest's first bonus admits to looking for other Dash 4 Cash players on track
Don't for a second assume that Elliott Sadler isn't aware of the running positions of the three drivers he's competing against for the Dash 4 Cash program's weekly bonuses.
Such was the case during the first leg of Nationwide's four-race Dash 4 Cash program that awards the highest-finishing driver among four eligible drivers $100,000. Look for more of the same to happen this Saturday during the CNBC Prime the Profit 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"Heck yeah, we know where each other's at," said Sadler, who finished third at Daytona on Friday night to win the first Dash 4 Cash. "(Austin Dillon and I) were laughing that we always know where the other guy is and the last restart I knew Austin was on second and we were fifth, and I was trying to figure out should we get in the top lane should Kyle Busch drop down and get in the bottom lane."
Sadler, Dillon, Kyle Larson and Brian Vickers all qualified to compete for the first $100,000 bonus after being the four highest-finishing points-eligible drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway the previous week.
By winning the first leg, Sadler automatically qualifies for the second leg at New Hampshire, where he has a best finish of fourth in nine series starts. Dillon and Larson also qualified for the second leg by finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, at Daytona.
Vickers finished 13th, but will be replaced by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Dash 4 Cash race at New Hampshire.
If Sadler wins the Dash 4 Cash race this weekend and repeats the feat next weekend at Chicagoland, he would be eligible for an additional $600,000 if he were to win the Indianapolis race outright.
Among the four participants eligible for this weekend's Dash 4 Cash, Sadler has more NASCAR Nationwide Series experience at the 1.058-mile track than his competitors. In only two starts at the track, Dillon has finishes of third and 25th. Hornish has only made one start in the series at New Hampshire, but finished fourth last year. This will be Larson's inaugural trip to the track.
The amount of excitement the Dash 4 Cash program brings to the series during these hot summer months is not lost on Sadler.
"What Nationwide Insurance does for our series, you know, this Dash 4 Cash stuff, man this is a great program and I'm not just talking about the extra money they're putting on the table," Sadler said. "This brings a lot of exposure to our race team, brings a lot of exposure to our sponsors. I mean, this is a big, big program for our series. And for those guys to do it four weeks in a row and bring that much attention to our racing means a lot to me, means a lot to our owners, well it means a ton to our sponsors."
As for during Saturday's race, it's safe to assume Sadler will once again be keeping tabs on where his fellow Dash 4 Cash competitors are running.