News & Media

In the Draft with Elliott Sadler: The first time

April 19, 2011, Elliott Sadler, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Nationwide Series offers chance for driver to see new tracks for the first time

This week the Nationwide Series is heading to Nashville Superspeedway for the first of two races at the track this season. I love the fact that I'm encountering new tracks this season running for the Nationwide championship. There's always an added feeling of excitement when you head to a track you've never been to before because you feel like you've got to adapt quickly in order to race against guys who have experience there.

A good way to approach a track that you've never been to before is to watch videos of past races and watch in-car camera feeds from the track before you get there. I also like to talk to different drivers who have a lot of experience there, because they can always offer a lot of insight. I've already talked to a couple different guys about Nashville, leaning on them a little bit to learn more about going to that track and being successful.

I'm fortunate that my co-owner Kevin Harvick is one of the best in the business on the track and off. I don't think people realize just how hands-on Kevin is as an owner and how willing he is to help his drivers. He's definitely had plenty of success at Nashville. He got to take home the Gibson guitar trophy there last spring and he also won there back in 2006, so he's definitely someone who has the place figured out.

Another guy I've been leaning on is Clint Bowyer, who is a really good friend of mine. Clint has been to Nashville nine times and has never finished outside the top five. And, of course I've got to lean on my crew chief and spotter to learn what the track is going to do as it rubbers up and what lines are working throughout the weekend. The good news is, before we get in the Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy I'll be getting some extra track time in the Bully Hill Vineyards Truck. We're pulling double duty and I'm gonna learn as much as I can on Friday night to help me on Saturday.

Even though I've never raced at Nashville Superspeedway, I've always been a huge fan of the town itself. I've filmed a commercial at the track for UPS years ago and I've also raced at the old Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville. Country music singer Blake Shelton also had me in a couple of his videos, "Ol' Red" and "Some Beach." We filmed both of those in the Nashville area, too.

If you're an Elliott Sadler fan or follow me on Twitter you know I love music. I've always told people if I wasn't a race car driver I'd want to be a country music singer. I have one small problem... I can't sing that well. The good news for this weekend, though, is Nashville has some great places to sing karaoke. Half the folks in those places can't sing either so I'll fit right in.

If you know any good restaurants in Nashville or hot karaoke spots, hit me up on Twitter!

I hope you guys enjoy the races this weekend. And, from my family to yours, we hope you have a Happy Easter. I'll be hiding Easter eggs on Sunday with Wyatt for the first time and I know many of you will be doing the same thing with your family.


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.