Smith and Sadler Talk

Elliott Sadler

"For him to do what he did at New Hampshire - I'm still ticked about it."

JOLIET, Ill. - Regan Smith did reach out to Elliott Sadler this week about what happened in the closing laps of last weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the end result did not change much as Sadler still remains upset.

Smith called Sadler and the two talked for about 20-30 minutes regarding the contact in final laps last Saturday that sent Sadler spinning in Turn 2 and to a 18th-place finish. Smith's car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. also contacted Sadler.

"I’m still pissed about it and Regan knows that and he knows where I stand," Sadler said. "He took 100 percent of the blame and understood why I’m upset and why I was upset. But, we talked and we agreed that our racing is going to change a little bit between us, but we know that we’re going to be racing around each other a lot between now and Homestead and they feel like they have a chance to win the championship. We feel like we have a chance amongst other drivers, so we’re probably going to see each other a lot between now and November.”

Smith explained his decision to call Sadler this week following the confrontation in the garage area after the race where Sadler told him, “You will not win the championship. Mark my word.’"

"It was a situation where I felt I needed to call," Smith said. "Even though it was not one of those phone calls you want to make when you call somebody and say 'Hey I wrecked you. It's my fault, sorry.' With Elliott being more of a veteran than myself and having been in the sport along time I felt like I needed to make the phone call."

"It was pretty obvious from the start that I took the blame for the wreck," Smith said. "It was a situation where it was the end of the race and I was trying to get positions and I felt like I had a pretty good run and made the move and ended up getting pushed down more than I wanted to on corner entry. Yes, he did give me room after that, but the problem was I was already losing my nose at that point and I was already getting ready to get into him. With that said, was it the right move to make right there? Probably not. For our situation with points and stuff like that.

"We talked and it’s a situation going forward I'm sure he's going to race me considerably harder than what he has in the past and that's to be expected. I would do the same."

The New Hampshire finish eliminated Sadler's shot of locking into a spot in the Nationwide "Dash 4 Cash" for tomorrow's STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, and took him out of the running for the million dollar bonus.

"We felt like we had a legitimate chance at the $100,000 that Austin Dillon and I were racing side-by-side and didn’t touch each other at all racing for the money," Sadler said. "Also, eligible for this week which is another $100,000 and also would have kept me eligible for the million dollars."

For that reason, Smith understands why Sadler is still upset.

"I know exactly where he was coming from," Smith said. "He was racing for a lot of money and an opportunity to race for a lot of money again this week. Who knows if he would have got it or not. All we can do is guess, talk about it and think about it."

After taking the $100,000 at New Hampshire, Dillon is not only racing for another Dash 4 Cash bonus at Chicagoland, but also for the championship with Smith and Sadler.

"I love it. I hope they are mad at each other," Dillon said. "If not, I'm going to go tell Elliott - Regan is talking about him behind his back. I think it's funny."

Sadler felt like he had raced Smith fairly this season.

"The biggest problem I had with it is I gave him a huge break at Iowa - a huge break - he hit the wall off Turn 4 and went into turn one and I could have easily made it three-wide, that was the same day as the Pocono race, so none of us, a lot of us that use spotters, so I knew he didn’t have his spotter at Iowa and I gave him a huge break and could have easily - he could have easily wrecked," Sadler said. "I felt like he didn’t give me the same courtesy and I actually gave him a big break at the beginning of the race at New Hampshire -- I caught him from a straightaway behind, raced him for 15 laps and got in the back of him in the middle of (turns) three and four and I just slowed down and stopped and let him get back in front of me and then tried to race him clean again. For him to do what he did at New Hampshire - I'm still ticked about it."

Smith also said he gave Sadler a break during the New Hampshire race.

"There was a situation with about 40 laps to go and I gave him a free pass and let him go and didn't race him hard," Smith said. "The incident was unfortunate but if you look back through myself and Elliott have raced each other good, hard, clean, fair for however many years we have been around. We got spun off his bumper at Daytona and I haven't even brought that up. In the course of a season this stuff can happen and this is part of racing."

Although the way he races Smith in the future might change, Sadler's main goal remains the same.

"I’m focused on what we’re doing as a team and how we’re running and things that way," Sadler said. "I think we’re here to win the championship, period. I honestly think as good as we’ve been running the last month or so, I don’t think he’s going to run good enough to run with us anyway. As far as me worried exactly about what they’re doing and where he’s at and all that, that’s not how I do things. I’m worried about winning races first and usually that translates into a good points day, which translates into having a good run in the championship standings and that’s the way we’re going to look at it.”

Photos

  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Buckle Up 200
  • Buckle Up 200
  • Buckle Up 200
  • Larson Captures Charlotte Win
  • Larson Captures Charlotte Win
  • Larson Captures Charlotte Win
  • Larson Captures Charlotte Win
  • Larson Captures Charlotte Win
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites