Elliott Sadler is an American stock car racing driver who is active in NASCAR since 1995. Sadler recorded more than 850 starts in three NASCAR national series, scoring victories in all three competitions. He won three Cup Series races, thirteen Busch/Nationwide/Xfinity Series races and one Truck Series race.
He was voted as the most popular driver in the Nationwide/Xfinity Series four times, first in 2011 and then for three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018.
Racing with and against brother Hermie
Elliott William Barnes Sadler was born on April 30, 1975, in Emporia, Virginia. After starting his racing career with go-karts as the seven-year-old kid, he switched to bigger cars at the age 18, entering the 1993 Winston Racing Series.
In that time, his older brother Hermie (born 1969) was already competing in NASCAR, becoming the Rookie of the Year in the 1993 Busch Series season. Later in a career, Sadler brothers were rivals in many races.
NASCAR debut in father's car
Elliott debuted in NASCAR Busch Series in July 1995, driving the #46 Chevrolet, owned by his father, at South Boston Speedway. He finished in the 8th place. Later in the season, Elliott participated in one more race at Richmond Raceway.
In 1996, Sadler expanded his racing activities to 13 races with father's #46 Chevrolet and Gary Bechtel's #29 Chevrolet. His best result was fifth place at season's finale at Homestead-Miami.
Hermie and Elliott Sadler
1997 - first full NASCAR season for Elliot
The first full Busch Series season followed in 1997 when Sadler was driving the #66 Chevrolet for Gary Bechtel's Diamond Ridge Motorsports. After earning two poles in first six races, Sadler scored his maiden win in the 13th round, at Nazareth Speedway. He added two more wins to his account (Myrtle Beach and Gateway Raceway) to finish fifth in the final standings. Sadler spent one more season with Diamond Ridge Motorsports, winning two races in the 1998 Busch Series, at Bristol Motor Speedway and North Carolina Speedway.
Elliott Sadler tried to debut in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in October 1997, failing to qualify for the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Team SABCO's Chevrolet. He managed to qualify for two races in 1998, driving Gary Bechtel's #92 Chevrolet at Charlotte and Bristol.
Sadler was driving WoodBrothers Racing's #21 Ford from 1999 to 2002, scoring one Cup Series win
Four Winston Cup seasons with Wood Brothers
Sadler's Winston Cup Series first full season followed in 1999 when he was signed by Wood Brothers Racing to drive the #21 Ford Taurus. His best finish was 10th place at Texas Motor Speedway. He was in the 24th spot in the overall standings and second among rookies, behind Tony Stewart. In 2000, he scored only one top 10 result, the 7th place at Bristol, finishing 29th in the points.
Maiden Cup Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway
In the sixth round of the 2001 Winston Cup season, Sadler surprisingly won the Food City 500 at Bristol, scoring the first win for Wood Brothers after eight years and his maiden Cup Series win in a career. He finished 20th in the points.
In 2002, Sadler opened a season with a runner-up spot at Daytona 500, behind Ward Burton. Until the end of the season, Sadler was six more times in the Top 10, finishing 23rd in the final standings.
Sadler at Texas Motor Speedway in 2004
Two Cup Series wins in the 2004 season
In 2003, Sadler joined Robert Yates Racing to drive the #38 Ford. In his first season with Robert Yates, Sadler was a pole-sitter two times but scored no wins. In 2004, which turned to be his career-best season, Sadler was 7th at Daytona 500 and then scored his second Cup Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway. One more win followed at California Speedway. After entering The Chase for the Cup, Sadler finished ninth in the points.
The season 2005 was successful because of four poles and he finished 13th in the final standings. He also made sixteen starts for Robert Yates in the Busch Series. In 2006, his fourth season with Yates Racing, Sadler left the team midway through the season, joining Gillett Evernham Motorsports to drive the #19 Dodge.
Four Cup Series seasons in the #19 car
Sadler spent next two seasons in the Gillett Evernham's #19 car, scoring thirteen Top Tens in two years. In 2009, the #19 team became a part of Richard Petty Motorsports. Sadler remained in a car, finishing fifth at Daytona 500 and scoring four more top 10 results.
In 2010, Richard Petty Motorsports switched to Ford. Sadler stayed with the team in his last full Cup Series season. He reached top 10only once, with 9th place at Michigan.
Elliott Sadler in 2012
Two-time runner-up in the Nationwide Series
In 2011, Sadler made a step back, returning full-time to the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Kevin Harvick Incorporated. Driving the #2 Chevrolet, he was without wins but scored 24 finishes in the top 10, missing a title to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
In 2012, Sadler was driving the #2 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, scoring again 24 finishes among top ten. This time, he won four races but it wasn't enough to become a champion. He was a runner-up again, again being beaten by Ricky Stenhous Jr.
Sadler scored three Xfinity Series wins in 2016
Close to the top again in 2016 and 2017
In the following two Nationwide Series seasons, Sadler was driving the #11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. In 2013, he finished fourth in the points, not scoring wins. In 2014, he won a race at Talladega, finishing third in the points. The next team in Sadler's CV was Roush Fenway Racing, in the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series. He drove the #1 Ford for the team, scoring no wins and finishing sixth in the points.
In 2016, the number 1 moved to JR Motorsports' Chevrolet Camaro. Sadler scored three wins and finished second for the third time in a career, losing a title to Daniel Suarez. In 2017, he scored no wins but he was again second in the points in the Xfinity Series, losing a title to William Byron. Sadler's last full season was 2018 when he scored no wins and finished fifth in the Xfinity Series classification. In 2019, he made a deal to drive part-time for Kaulig Racing.
Celebrating a victory a Pocono
Twenty starts, one win in the Truck Series
While competing full time in two major NASCAR series, Sadler collected twenty starts in the Truck Series with three different teams, most of them with Kevin Harvick's #2 Chevrolet Silverado in 2010 and 2011. Driving the #2 Silverado, he scored his only Truck Series win, in July 2010 at Pocono Raceway.
With that victory, he placed himself among less than thirty drivers in NASCAR's history who won races in all three national series.