News & Media

Looking to rebound, Sadler secures pole at Iowa

May 19, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

NEWTON, Iowa -- Elliott Sadler has made the transition from forgettable finish to memorable start in one week.

Sadler suffered disappointment when a late wreck damaged his car and the chance for a third Nationwide Series win last Friday at Darlington Raceway. He didn't wait long to put himself in position for another victory.


Race Lineup
2.S. Hornish Jr. 133.294 23.632
3.Stenhouse Jr. 133.114 23.664
4.M. McDowell 133.085 23.669
5.J. Allgaier 132.514 23.771

Sadler claimed his second pole of the season, dashing to the fastest qualifying time Saturday for the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway. It also is his second pole in three career races at the 0.875-mile track.

Sadler went from being one of the top drivers in practice to being the best when it counted. He recorded a fastest lap of 133.911 mph, .6 seconds ahead of Sam Hornish Jr. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top three.

"I'm really proud of my guys to come here," Sadler said. "We sat on the pole last fall and ran pretty well. It's a good starting spot."

Pole position has to soothe the sting from last week's race when Joey Logano bumped Sadler during a restart with five laps left, sending Sadler into the outer wall and out of the race (watch). He had to settle for 24th, his worst finish of the season, in front his mom, wife and other family members.

"It says a lot about our race team," Sadler said. "There's a lot of things that made last week a bad week. I felt we had a really good chance to win the race. We go from having a good chance to win the race and being close in the points battle with Ricky to now 23 points behind. That was tough."

Sadler has a brief but successful history at Iowa, placing in the top five in both 2011 races, including the pole and a third-place finish this past August. He was able to handle the track and the windy conditions that came into play on Turn 3.

"It just pushed us into Turn 3 a little harder," Sadler said. "I had to make some adjustments on my second lap because of that."

Hornish caught the wall on that turn. He wasn't blaming the conditions, but realized the hiccup may have cost him a spot.

"I drug the rear on the wall and unsettled the car," said Hornish, who was bothered by the mishap and drove the second lap too hard. "I had to check up just a second and when you're looking at a tenth of a second between first and second that's all it took."

Hornish secured his fifth top-10 start of the season and second in two appearances at Iowa Speedway.

Things have worked out well for Stenhouse at Iowa Speedway, and that didn't change Saturday. Stenhouse posted a fast lap of 133.114 mph. He liked his opening lap, slowing down after pressing too much on a slower second. The team made adjustments, but there still is work.

"I was really tight in practice," said Stenhouse, praising his team for repairing the car after making slight contact with the wall during practice. "We got some of the tightness out of it. Just not all of it."

It is his 10th start in the top 10 this season and gives Stenhouse a shot at a third consecutive victory at Iowa, sweeping the Nationwide events here last year. He expects a fast and challenging field.


• Elliott Sadler scored his 13th career pole in his 174th race.
• Elliott Sadler posted his second Iowa pole in his third race at the track; he won the pole for the August race in 2011.
• Elliott Sadler scored his second pole of 2012 (Las Vegas); he's the second driver (Joey Logano) to win multiple poles in 2012.
• Richard Childress Racing scored its 37th series pole, fourth of 2012 (most of all teams) and first at Iowa.
• Chevrolet posted its fifth pole of 2012 (most of all makes) and second at Iowa (both Sadler).
• Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his best start of 2012; he started third in his only other Iowa start (August 2011).
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (third) scored his fifth top-three start of 2012; he has won the past two Iowa races, from the eighth and fourth starting positions.
• Michael McDowell (fourth) has never started worse than ninth driving for Joe Gibbs Racing (six races now).
• Justin Allgaier (fifth) scored his best start since starting second at Fontana in March; he has started in the top 10 in all five of his Iowa races.
• Darrell Wallace Jr. (eighth) is making his NNS debut.
• Danica Patrick (ninth) posted her fifth NNS top-10 start in her 35th race.
• Michael Guerity (43rd) is making his NNS debut.

"We should have a good car," Stenhouse said. "There's a lot of good race cars this weekend."