Sadlers Future Not Clear
July 22, 2006 | 10:42 A.M. EST
Yes, he's leaving Robert Yates Racing at the end of the season, a move that had been rumored for the last several weeks.
But where the Virginia driver will wind up is the proverbial $64,000 question.
"That’s a good question, but I haven’t made a move yet," Sadler said. "I just got done getting all my stuff straight with Robert. I know there’s a lot of speculation and a lot of stuff going around the garage and TV and news. But as of right now I do not have a ride for next year."
While the final destination hasn't been determined, despite strong indications that Sadler will replace Jeremy Mayfield at Evernham Motorsports, Sadler's release from Yates hasn't come without controversy.
Still under contract, Sadler became the latest driver to ask his owner to be released. Sadler claims it was a matter of both sides having a difference of opinion on where the team was heading.
"I’m not gonna sit here and say that my way is the right way and somebody else’s way is the wrong way," Sadler said. "I think Doug and Robert are doing good things at their shop. They’re making a lot of commitments to a lot of people to turn their shop and their race teams around and get it back to the old Robert Yates Racing, but sometimes people just don’t agree on things."
"It doesn’t make one right or wrong. It doesn’t make this person a bad person or the other person a bad person, it’s just sometimes you don’t agree on which way you think the sport is heading. We just have a difference of opinion on that."
So where does Sadler see the sport heading and how does his view differ from that of Yates?
"I don’t think that’s important for me to sit here today and say, ‘I think the sport is going in this direction and that’s what I believe,’" Sadler said. "I just think it’s just a difference of opinion on where we think it’s heading – what I think you need to do to be successful and what they think they need to do to be successful. It was getting hard for both of us."
RYR now has the major challenge of filling not one, but two cars for next season after the departures of Sadler and Dale Jarrett, who bolted RYR earlier this year for Michael Waltrip's new Toyota team.
“Elliott saw the way things were shaping up within our organization and he decided that he felt he had a better opportunity somewhere else," said Doug Yates. "There are some big shoes to fill right now within our organization. We need a leader and need somebody who can carry the team back to where it needs to be and he felt like he had a better deal somewhere else."