SWEET HOME ALABAMA: Elliott Sadler and the No. 11 OneMain Financial team head to Alabama to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Sadler has four Nationwide Series starts at the 2.66-mile track, with one top-five and two top-10 finishes with 16 laps led. He has one pole award (2011) and started from the pole position in 2012 after rain cancelled qualifying. The veteran driver also has 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway with three pole awards, one top-five and four top-10 finishes and 124 laps led.
LAST TIME AROUND: In 2012, rain forced NASCAR officials to cancel qualifying, and Sadler lined up in the pole position as the field was set based on owners point standings. Throughout the race, Sadler battled rising water temperature, and was involved in an incident during the first attempt of a green-white-checkered finish. The team quickly repaired the car, and Sadler moved from 20th to 10th on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
JUST THE STATS: According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Data statistics, Sadler ranks in the following categories: third in Fastest Drivers Early in a Run category, with an average rank of 6.0; second in Fastest Drivers Late in a Run category, with an average rank of 5.833; and second in Green Flag Speed. Sadler also sits in the third spot for Quality Passes (329).
TAKING THE MIC: Sadler will take on co-hosting duties this weekend on SPEED’s Trackside from Talladega Superspeedway. The show will air on Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time on SPEED.
MEET SADLER: Fans will have the opportunity to meet Sadler at the OneMain Financial branch on Friday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. at 704-A Battle Street East, Talladega, AL 35160. For more information, visit www.onemainracing.com
LAST RACE: Richmond: Under the lights of his home track, Sadler started the race at Richmond International Raceway in the 14th position, and quickly moved his way to the front of the field to lead for 18 laps. As the race wore on, the No. 11 Toyota developed a tight-handling condition, and Sadler crossed the finish line in the sixth position.
TO THE POINT: Sadler moved up two positions to fifth in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 35 points behind the leader with 25 races remaining in the 2013 season.
DOUBLE DUTY: Sadler will have a busy weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, also running in the Sprint Cup Series event in the No. 81 Alert Energy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. The Aaron’s 499 begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 5 on FOX and MRN.
THINK PINK: The OneMain Financial driver will sport pink Oakley driving shoes throughout the entire Nationwide Series season to show support for breast cancer awareness and honor his mom, Bell. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and is now a survivor. This season, he will also wear special pink Oakley driving gloves. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on his race-worn shoes throughout the season, with proceeds going toward breast cancer research and education. For more information, visit www.onemainracing.com
RACE INFO: The Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway will be on ESPN at 3 p.m. E.T., on Saturday, May 4, as well as MRN and SIRIUSXM 90.
Elliott Sadler Quotes: “The race at Talladega is always a wild-card race. There’s only so much you can do to prepare, because you have to be smart, but you also have you have to lucky. I say that Talladega is a “200-mph chess game.” You definitely mentally prepare differently in superspeedway races, especially running both the Cup and the Nationwide Series cars. Both cars are very, very different, so you have to work really hard to focus on the task at hand. I think this OneMain Financial team is ready to get to Victory Lane, and we are going to everything we can to get there this weekend.”