Sadler Back in Victory Lane

Elliott Sadler

Race Results

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Elliott Sadler got it right this time at Talladega Superspeedway.

As he sat in his car during a red flag late in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312, Sadler’s focus drifted not to what was ahead but what was behind.

"Twenty scenarios (went) through my head of how many times I’ve screwed up here in the past with a good racecar and not been able to finish it off, blocking the wrong lane or going at the wrong time or going in the wrong lane,’’ he said.

When the race resumed, Sadler did everything right to score his first victory of the season and snap a 54-race winless drought.

Now, he’ll have something else for fans to talk to him about when the topic is Talladega.

“Every autograph session or everywhere I go, everybody reminds me of the flip I had down the backstraightaway,’’ Sadler said. “Now ... maybe they can ask me about winning here.’’

Sadler’s victory marks the third time in the last four Nationwide races that a series regular has won.

Rookie Chris Buescher finished second. He was followed by Regan Smith, David Ragan and pole-sitter Sam Hornish Jr. Joe Nemecheck was sixth with JJ Yeley, Landon Cassill, David Starr and Trevor Bayne completing the top 10.

Sadler was among four cars racing for the lead on the final lap. He was on the bottom lane with Ragan pushing him. Buescher was on the outside with Smith pushing him.

“We were holding each other as tight as possible,’’ Buescher said. “(Smith) was pushing me like crazy. We probably hit 12 times going down the backstretch, just big pushes. It makes it quite wild going around the corners the same way.

“I tried really hard to hold Elliott down, trying to sidedraft. I’m very new to this. I don’t have all the speed secrets yet. I think all those guys did a really good job of making sure we got to the finish line clean.’’

Others didn’t have it so good, as accidents collected several drivers. Most of the incidents took place toward the front of the field.

Ryan Blaney made contact with Sadler while battling for the lead six laps from the end. The contact sent Blaney up the banking and into the wall. He came back down the track causing others to crash. Jeremy Clements, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Ryan Sieg were collected.

“I didn’t make a good move trying to sidedraft (Sadler),’’ Blaney said softly as he walked out of the garage after finishing 21st. “I didn’t judge it right. I screwed up a little bit. We all make mistakes. This one is hard to bear.’’

Contact between Bayne and Brian Scott triggered a 10-car crash and brought out the caution on Lap 63 of the 117-lap race. The incident damaged the cars of Richard Childress Racing drivers Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan along with Ryan Reed, Chad Boat, Robert Richardson Jr., Kyle Larson, Joey Gase and Mike Harmon.

Scott said on his radio that Bayne turned him, adding “I could punch the freaking driver. He’s such an idiot.’’

Car owner Richard Childress later said on the team’s radio “that ... (Bayne) is a weapon every freaking week.’’

Bayne said he understood Scott’s reaction “but I think it should be more frustration with the circumstances of the kind of racing we’re in.

“I don’t know exactly what happened with (Scott). I was following him and (Gaughan) was a wild man behind us, so I was just trying to keep him behind me, whatever I could do.’’

Three contenders saw their chances eliminated in a crash on Lap 44.

Blaney got into the back of James Buescher, who spun down the banking and to grass. His car moved back to the apronand was hit by Dylan Kwasniewski and Darrell Wallace Jr.

“(Blaney) pushed on the left rear quarter panel,’’ Buescher said. “We’ve seen that in the last couple of years. If you push on that bumper, a guy gets turned around. I was doing my best to stay out of the racing lanes so nobody else would get involved ... and they hit me anyways. That’s part of this deal at Talladega.’’

Blaney apologized on his radio after the incident, saying he got a tap from behind by Bayne.

Wallace was frustrated with incident.

“I hate plate racing,’’ he said. “I’m horrible at it. I really thought we had a top-three car. It just gets ruined by somebody else’s mess.’’

Race Center

Kansas Lottery 300

@ Kansas Speedway
Saturday, October 04, 2014 3:00 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 3 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

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