Sadler Set For 600

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It is safe to say that Elliott Sadler is looking forward to next weekend's Coca-Cola 600.

If Sadler's performance in the All-Star Challenge is any indication of what next weekend has in store for the No. 38 Robert Yates Racing Team, the outlook is good. Sadler's Pedigree Ford Taurus proved to be a dominant car in the Saturday's event as he posted a second place finish behind winner Mark Martin. In fact Sadler showed his strength by finishing second at the end of all three segments.

"We had an awesome race car," said Sadler. "My guys worked so hard. I'm very disappointed by finishing second because I think we were the class of the field tonight. We had an awesome race car, an awesome motor. It was by far the best motor I've ever had in my life in NEXTEL Cup racing. That was a lot of fun to drive tonight. To come in second, I think everybody knew we were here. I think we're going to have something for the 600 when we come back."

Sadler and Crew Chief Todd Parrott played the pit strategy card by only taking two tires during the final pit stop between segments two and three. Sadler was one of only two cars, the second being Jeff Gordon, to take two tires instead of four. Many questioned the call but Sadler had faith in his head wrench that the two tire call was the correct one.

"We learned a lot from that call," said Sadler in regards to the two tire call. "We'll keep that it the back of our notes. We just wanted to see what that would do. I know that track position is very important here."

Only 11 cars completed the All-Star Challenge after a ten car wreck on lap 35 depleted nearly half the field. Additionally Rusty Wallace was awarded a DNF after being collected in an accident with teammate Ryan Newman on lap 72.

Mark Martin won his second All-Star event on Saturday night under the lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Sophomore driver Brian Vickers finished in the third position after securing the transfer spot in the NEXTEL Open. Vickers' Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five respectively.

Sadler's teammate Dale Jarrett narrowly missed a top-five finish as he posted a sixth place effort. Jarrett had his work cut out for him after starting in the 19th position but the veteran driver was able to miss two on-track incidents as he piloted his No. 88 UPS Ford to the front of the field.

The racing action continues next weekend for Sadler at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. It's back to business as the Championship point race returns with the Coca-Cola 600. Coverage is scheduled to begin on the FOX Television Network at 5 p.m. EDT.

Photos

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  • Coca-Cola 600
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  • From the Archives: Charlotte
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  • Sprint All-Star Race
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