NASCAR’s Elliott Sadler – From Boy to Superstar

Born on April 30th, 1975 in Emporia Virginia Elliot William Barnes Sadler started his career young. By the time he was 8, Sadler would have already brought home 200 wins, the 1984 Virginia State Karting Championship, and the North Carolina Gold Cup in 1992. When he reached age 14, Sadler was named runner-up for the World Karting Association title. It was already becoming clearer to the Sadler family that the young Sadler had a tremendous amount of talent in racing and during his youth, he focused more on Late Model stock car divisions.This Bon Jovi fan was already hot on the trail at the Winston Racing Series at age 18 which later on went on to race full time the same year. After he won his first victory, he went on with a blaze of glory with the track champion title at the South Boston Speedway with 13 wins under his belt during that time. All the while, Sadler was still studying at the James Madison University in Virginia as well. This showed the budding driver’s commitment to not only racing but to his books as well. It’s a little known fact that Sadler was actually offered 18 small-college scholarships but he turned them down for the James Madison University where he was to play basketball for Charles Driesell. However an injury to his knee refrained him from doing so.Sadler took off in 1995 with a bang as he made his Busch Series debut at South Boston; he went on to race at the Richmond International Raceway where he came in 24th. In 1196, he joined the #29 WCW Chevy with Diamond Ridge Motorsports. He came in fifth at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex and finished 35th in points that year. His break came in 1997 when he won his first career race at Nazareth Speedway which was then followed up with wins at Myrtle Beach Speedway, Gateway International Raceway and his attempt at qualifying for the UAW-GM Quality 500 cup. He did, however make his Cup debut at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1998 but finished at 42nd because of an engine failure.After his earlier stint in those years, Sadler went into the Cup Series full force in 1999. He finished at tenth at the Texas Motor Speedway, 24th in points and was runner up for the Rookie of the Year honors. He later finished fifth during the Busch Series where he filled in for Andy Santerre. The next year was not as great for him as he dropped to 29th spot in points. In 2001 however, Sadler won his first career cup race at Bristol. He has since gone on to win the pole at Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. The Next season, he won again at Texas Motor Speedway and California Speedway.The avid hunter who also acts as a hunting guide during the off season in Virginia has a bumpy ride throughout the years 2005 till now. He won another pole at Talladega in ’06 with the 19th spot in points. He had seven Busch starts and his best finish was his second place at Richmond. In 2007, Sadler was counted among some of the other drivers who were involved in a cheating scandal during the Daytona 500.Sadler who was a big athlete during his younger days now has 38 hunting dogs and is currently engaged to Amanda Prince. When asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t driving, the cheeky Virginian replied that he would a country music singer. Sadler also credits his favorite racers, Dale Jarrett and Mark Martin as his mentors on the race track. He claims to have learned a lot from them and has inherited wisdom beyond his years.

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