CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Elliott Sadler and the No. 11 OneMain Financial team will head to Auto Club Speedway this weekend to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 300. Sadler has earned two top-five and four top-10 finishes in nine Nationwide Series starts at the Fontana, Calif., track, with 42 laps led and a 99 percent lap-completion record. The Emporia, Va., native bring experience at the two-mile track from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with 19 starts, one win (2004) and two top-10 finishes.
LAST TIME AROUND: In the 2012 event at Auto Club Speedway, Sadler drove to a hard-fought ninth-place finish after battling a tight-handling condition.
TIME IN THE LIMELIGHT: Sadler will take on co-hosting duties this weekend on SPEED’s Trackside from Auto Club Speedway. The show will air on Friday, March 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on SPEED.
MARCH MADNESS: Throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Sadler will host a March Madness Tournament Bracket on ESPN.com. Fans can fill out a bracket to compete against the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, and the winner will receive signed gear, including a signed basketball. Sadler’s Final Four includes University of Louisville, University of Florida, University of New Mexico and the University of Miami. Brackets must be complete by March 21, 2013.
LAST WEEK IN BRISTOL: The OneMain Financial team qualified in the fifth position for the 300-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway. After a quick two-tire stop early in the event, Sadler lined up to restart but had a hard time bringing the No. 11 Toyota back up to speed. The Joe Gibbs Racing team worked on the Toyota behind the wall to assess the problem, but discovered an internal mechanical issue that would not allow the team to get back on the track. The team’s day was cut short with a 36th-place finish.
TO THE POINT: After a tough weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Sadler is in the 10th position in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 51 points behind the leader with 28 races remaining in the 2013 season.
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.
RACE INFO: The Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway will be on ESPN at 6 p.m. E.T., as well as MRN and SIRIUSXM 90.
Elliott Sadler Quotes: “Last week at Bristol was definitely disappointing. It was a tough day for our OneMain Financial team, however, we are going to rebound. I believe in this team, and crew chief Chris Gayle, and we are ready to get back at it in California. I really like this track because it’s pretty wide and fast. I won here in 2004 in the Sprint Cup Series, and I’m looking forward to getting back there this weekend. I know that we have dug ourselves in a bit of a hole in the point standings, but this OneMain Financial will not give up. There is still a lot of racing left this season.”