Early Flat Tire Crushes Sadler’s Hopes at Richmond
RICHMOND, Virginia. (Sept. 12, 2015) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Elliott Sadler finished 24th during Friday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang started on the sixth row, in the 12th position on Friday night for the 250 lap event. On Lap 43, Sadler’s left rear tire blew and the tire started to immediately come apart. Before Sadler could make it back to pit road, the tire tore up the left rear quarter panel and the rear brake lines. After the crew worked on the car, Sadler returned to the race four laps down in the 34th position. Sadler and his crew didn’t give up and battled for the remainder of the race. The No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang was able to pass a few cars and crossed the finish line in the 24th position.
“Luck just wasn’t on our side tonight,” Sadler said after the race. “I must have run over something on that first caution on lap one. I’m sure it was a tiny hole, because my tire didn’t blow until lap 43. Plus, when the tire shredded, the cords messed up my brake lines and I only had about 30% of my rear brakes for the remainder of the race. The guys busted their tails on pit road under the caution laps and we were able to get my car back on the track. We actually got the car back to a decent state, but when you’re four laps down, you can only make up so many positions. Hopefully, luck will change next weekend at Chicagoland.”
Sadler made it to the final round of NXS qualifying on Friday afternoon and started 12th on Friday night. Not long after the green flag dropped, we had our first yellow of the night from a multiple car pile-up. Debris was all over the track and it took a few laps for the service crews to clean up the mess.
The field went back to racing on Lap 10 and Sadler restarted from the 12th position. Around Lap 35, Sadler radioed to the team his car was starting to handle different and started discussing possible changes to the car on the upcoming scheduled competition caution pit stop on Lap 50. However, on Lap 43 Sadler’s left rear tire blew and the tire immediately started to shred. By the time Sadler could make it back to pit road, the cords ripped apart his left rear quarter panel.
Sadler pitted three times under caution and the crew worked extremely hard pulling out pieces of the tire in the wheel well. Under caution, the crew patched as much as they could and replaced the flat tire. However, Sadler radioed to the team, “the tire must have ripped apart my brake lines. I only have about 30% of my rear brakes.”
When the race went back to green, Sadler was four laps down and restarted from the 34th position.
On the dashboard, Sadler shifted all his braking to his front tires and despite all the damage and lack of rear brakes, the No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford was running fairly decent lap times. Sadler did a great job managing his car for the remaining 200 laps and slowly passed 10 cars before the checkered flag waved. Sadler crossed the finish line in the 24th position.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series and Sadler’s No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang will be back in action next week at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Race
Saturday, Sept 19th, 2015
6:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Complete Race Results:
2015 Season Total: Fifth with 805 points / -105 points back from the leader
2015 SEASON SUMMARY
Starts – 25
Wins – 0
Poles – 0
Top-5s – 4
Top-10s – 12