Sadler collects hefty consolation prize after third-place Richmond run

RICHMOND, Va. — If there’s such a thing as a six-figure consolation prize, Elliott Sadler found it at Richmond Raceway.

Sadler took third place in Friday night’s ToyotaCare 250, collecting the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus as the top eligible finisher. He outdistanced Justin Allgaier (14th), Spencer Gallagher (17th) and Daniel Hemric (29th) in the second of four races this season for the lucrative incentive program.

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The finish, however, had a slight bittersweet tinge for the Virginia native, who came up just shy of his first victory at a track he calls home.

“All I could think about when we were up front and taking the lead and winning the stage would be how great would it finally be to pull one off here,” said Sadler, who led twice for 30 of the 250 laps. “We just got a little bit too tight there at the end.”

The loss of handling left Sadler with a finishing position behind the Joe Gibbs Racing entries of race winner Christopher Bell and rookie Noah Gragson, a runner-up in his Xfinity debut. It also left Sadler 0-for-30 at a facility that he’s been coming to — both as a fan and a driver — since childhood.

“We’ve had family season tickets here for over 40 years; I’m 42 years old. I would definitely trade in a lot of trophies for a win at this race track,” Sadler said. “It felt good to run as well as we did during the middle of the race. … I would definitely trade in this tomorrow — not that it’s a light thing, $100,000 — but a memory in Victory Lane is something that lasts a lifetime and something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid at this track.”