Darlington 400: Sadler earns first pole

Elliott Sadler will start Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Winston Cup race at historic Darlington Raceway from pole position, the first of his Winston Cup career

Darlington 400: Sadler earns first pole

Sadler, in his first year driving for the legendary Robert Yates group in the M&M's Ford Taurus, lapped the 1.366-mile oval in 28.902sec (170.147mph) ahead of Ryan Newman's Penske Racing Dodge and Jerry Nadeau's Pontiac third. Jimmy Spencer's Dodge was fourth ahead of Jeff Gordon, the first Chevrolet runner, in fifth.

"A lot of critics have been watching us a lot this first half of the season, some wanting us to fail and some wanting us to success," said Sadler. "To get a pole this early and get it off our shoulders, you don't understand how big a relief this is.

"I ran my first lap in practice on stickers [new tires], and [the team] wanted to go out again," he explained. "I said, 'Look, I've got this lap in my head being on stickers. I don't want to go out there and mess it up on scuffs,' so I said, 'Hey, just tape it up solid and let's put stickers on again.'"

Most teams ran 25 to 30 laps, alternating with race set-ups. There is a good chance all final practice Saturday will be lost to rain.

shares
comments
Atlanta 500: Labonte beats Gordon to win

Previous article

Atlanta 500: Labonte beats Gordon to win

Next article

Darlington 400: Craven wins by inches

Darlington 400: Craven wins by inches
Load comments
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020