News & Media

Sadler backs out of Cup deal with MWR

March 06, 2012, Dave Rodman,

Less than two days after Michael Waltrip Racing announced Elliott Sadler would run five Sprint Cup races later this season in MWR's No. 55 Toyota, Sadler went on several national media outlets Monday to say he was backing out of the opportunity -- which reportedly was nullified by Sadler's Nationwide Series owner, Richard Childress, within hours of it being announced.

Sadler initially went on Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway show to say that, in the aftermath of his Nationwide Series victory last Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, which propelled him into the lead in the Nationwide championship standings and came just hours after MWR's announcement, his car owner Richard Childress summoned him to a meeting in PIR's driver/owner RV lot.

On radio, and later on SPEED Channel's Race Hub, where Sadler is a regular NASCAR analyst, Sadler said he and his owner had agreed it would be more appropriate if Sadler concentrated on driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 Chevrolet. Sadler currently has a 10-point lead on his teammate, Childress' grandson and Nationwide rookie of the year leader Austin Dillon.

Sadler said the question of driving for different manufacturers was never raised by Childress, who has fielded General Motors products in all his racing endeavors for more than four decades, including at least a dozen NASCAR championships.

Waltrip needed a replacement driver in the No. 55 that Mark Martin will drive in 24 points races this season. Sadler's first start was scheduled to be next weekend at Bristol and would've included two events at Bristol, two at Martinsville and the July event at New Hampshire. MWR has yet to name a replacement for the replacement.

NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.