After winning the pole for the Treatmyclot.com 300, Elliott Sadler ran inside the top five throughout the entire day before finishing fifth for his second top five of 2014.
“It was good to start on the pole,” Sadler commented post-race. “My guys did a good job with my Sport Clips Camry with qualifying today. It just got a little too tight during the race. When you’re tight here, you slow down a little bit. We had great pit stops — holy cow, my pit crew was amazing today. They kept us up front and gave us a top-five finish. You know, always want to have a little more.”
The finish marked a great positive following Sadler’s poor finish at Bristol – when he struggled with the handling throughout the race.
Finishes of this caliber shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Sadler as he has been a front runner in the Nationwide Series the past two seasons. Sadler’s problem has been closing the deal and winning the championship as he seems to find trouble late in the race.
Following a pair of sub-par performances with a 13th at Las Vegas and a 17th at Bristol, a lot of people were questioning Sadler’s ability to run up front in future races and whether he’d be able to contend with the likes of Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne, who’s consistency this year has been top notch so far this year.
However, Sadler coming back to post a solid performance at Auto Club Speedway shows his team’s ability to come back from poor finishes and that will be crucial heading down the stretch. Also, running strong on a mile-and-a-half track shows that you have your package together and that’s crucial with hte schedule being dominated by intermediate tracks.
Sadler’s solid performance will lead to positive vibes heading to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend, a track that hasn’t resulted in the most superb finishes for Sadler. In the past four races in Fort Worth, Sadler has one top 10 – though his worst finish is a 13th place finish. However, Sadler does know his way around the 1.5 mile oval as he won there in the Sprint Cup Series.