for your iPhone
for your iPad
NASCAR

NASCAR Links

Scanner Frequencies

Meet the Staff

2014 Schedule

Sadler back in Victory Lane after 14 seasons

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix
Sunday, March 04, 2012

Advertisement

Elliott Sadler
Getty Images for NASCAR
Elliott Sadler got some well-deserved payback at Phoenix International Raceway.

At the one-mile venue where a wreck in Turn 3 effectively knocked him out of the Nationwide Series championship hunt last November, Sadler took the lead with 26 laps left in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 and held off hard-charging Brad Keselowski for the win.

The victory was Sadler's first at PIR, the sixth of his career and his first in the Nationwide Series since 1998 at Rockingham, N.C.

Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran third, followed by rookie Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick, who dominated much of the race, leading 107 of 200 laps, but fell victim to pit strategy in the late going.

Rather than enjoy a sense of vindication at Phoenix, however, Sadler would prefer to forget what happened last year.

"Honestly, it feels like three or four years ago," said Sadler, who leads the series standings by 10 points over second-place Dillon. "Last year was last year, and, yes, it probably could have affected how the championship could have worked, but we're on a whole new deal, a whole new season, a whole new outlook with a different team [with the sale of Harvick's Nationwide operation to Richard Childress Racing], so, honestly, what happened here last year just felt like a long time ago.

"It did not weigh on my mind one second of the whole weekend I was here. I felt like, coming out of Daytona, leading the points with a third-place finish, we just had a lot of momentum on our side . . . I try not to dwell on what happened last year. I try to learn from what maybe I did wrong and apply it. But I'm trying to stay more focused on what we're doing week-to-week this year."

Keselowski took the lead from pole-sitter Denny Hamlin after a restart on Lap 168 but couldn't hold it.

"We're coming off four consecutive top-twos," said Keselowski, who also finished second in the Feb. 25 Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona. "That's pretty good. To come out of the gate and have two strong runs, that's a lot to be proud of.

"I obviously wanted to get one more spot and pick up the win, but Elliott was a little stronger. There's nothing to be ashamed of running second, but we'll keep pushing, and if we keep putting ourselves in this position, we'll get a win."

Driving for RCR, Harvick took control of the race on Lap 53, when he passed Hamlin for the lead four circuits after a restart. He pulled away to an advantage of more than six seconds before Kenny Wallace's crash into the Turn 4 wall caused the second caution of the afternoon.

Hamlin regained the lead off pit road on Lap 105, but it didn't last, as Harvick took over the top spot moments after the subsequent restart on Lap 111.

Harvick stayed out front until NASCAR called the third caution on Lap 163 for debris in Turn 3. When the lead-lap cars pitted one circuit later, Harvick took four tires and came out seventh, as the six drivers ahead of him either took two tires or fuel only on their stops.

Keselowski passed Hamlin for the lead after the restart on Lap 168 but surrendered the top position to Sadler on Lap 175.

Danica Patrick qualified 30th and finished 21st, three laps down.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 8 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet OneMain Financial 47/1 200 Running
2 7 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 0 200 Running
3 2 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Roush Fenway Racing 25th Anniversary 41/0 200 Running
4 9 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet AdvoCare 40/0 200 Running
5 12 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet South Point Hotel & Casino 0 200 Running
6 6 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Alliance Truck Parts 38/0 200 Running
7 5 60 Trevor Bayne Ford Ford EcoBoost 38/1 200 Running
8 10 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 0 200 Running
9 1 18 Denny Hamlin Toyota GameStop 0 200 Running
10 21 43 Michael Annett Ford Pilot Flying J 34/0 200 Running
11 14 54 Kyle Busch Toyota Monster Energy 0 200 Running
12 25 30 James Buescher Chevrolet ABF Freight 0 200 Running
13 17 88 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 31/0 200 Running
14 11 11 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar General 30/0 200 Running
15 13 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 29/0 200 Running
16 19 44 Mike Bliss Toyota TriStar Motorsports 28/0 200 Running
17 22 108 Casey Roderick * Ford Randy Hill Racing 27/0 200 Running
18 4 38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 0 198 Running
19 18 81 Jason Bowles * Dodge American Majority 25/0 197 Running
20 24 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota G-Oil 24/0 197 Running
21 30 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 23/0 197 Running
22 28 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Clements Automotive 22/0 197 Running
23 32 23 Jamie Dick Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 21/0 196 Running
24 15 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 20/0 195 Throttle
25 31 39 Joey Gase * Ford Go Green Racing 19/0 195 Running
26 36 40 Erik Darnell Chevrolet Key Motorsports 18/0 194 Running
27 39 124 Benny Gordon Chevrolet SR2 Motorsports 17/0 194 Running
28 37 14 Eric McClure Toyota Hefty / Reynolds Wrap 16/0 193 Running
29 41 50 T.J. Bell Ford Turbine Powered Technology / Gulfcoast Loss Prevention / Liberty Tire Recyclers 15/0 189 Running
30 38 52 Tim Schendel Chevrolet Means Racing 14/0 189 Running
31 34 41 Blake Koch Ford Rise Up and Register 13/0 166 Running
32 23 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet G&K Services 12/0 162 Wheel Bearing
33 40 4 Daryl Harr Chevrolet iWorld 11/0 149 Running
34 42 70 Charles Lewandoski Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 10/0 115 Brakes
35 35 28 David Green Dodge Robinson-Blakeney Racing 9/0 109 Vibration
36 3 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota RAB Racing 8/0 102 Accident
37 16 27 J.J. Yeley Ford GC Motorsports Int'l 0 25 Vibration
38 29 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Victory In Jesus 6/0 17 Fuel Pressure
39 43 174 Mike Harmon Chevrolet American Fallen Heroes 5/0 8 Fly Wheel
40 33 42 Josh Wise Chevrolet Key Motorsports 0 7 Electrical
41 26 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet Key Motorsports 3/0 6 Electrical
42 20 47 Scott Speed Chevrolet Key Motorsports 0 3 Electrical
43 27 10 Jeff Green Toyota TriStar Motorsports 1/0 3 Vibration

* Denotes Rookie

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article