Sadler apologizes to Johnson for 'boneheaded' mistake in 500
Tuesday (Feb. 28) evening’s edition of the NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED wrapped up a wild Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, who re-capped his incident with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson.
He spoke with host Danielle Trotta about what happened.
“I just kind of got into the back of Jimmie, it was 100-percent my fault,” said Sadler, describing the incident that started as the field had just entered the race’s second lap. “It got other cars involved like you see in a lot of the restrictor plate races. We were coming into the outside lane, through the tri-oval, the 78 (Regan Smith) and the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) kind of get bunched up a little bit. They came down and its 100-percent my fault in getting into the back of Jimmie.
“We were kind of bogged down, everyone was side-by-side and I didn’t check up in time, and I got into the left-rear quarter (panel) of Jimmie. It was just a little bit, but that is usually all it takes at these types of speeds. It’s a bad way to get started.”
Sadler also reacted to the phone call he made to Johnson this morning, which was described by NASCAR Race Hub host Danielle Trotta as ‘one of the most difficult phone calls you have ever had to make.’
“It definitely was,” Sadler said. “You never want to be involved in a situation like this. Being good friends with Jimmie, and his crew, (as they) actually pitted my truck last year in Bristol (Tenn.). I saw his guys last night at the airport, and I apologized to all of them. I called Jimmie the first thing this morning just to say to him, ‘Look. And explained to him what happened. I was sorry. I had no excuses. It was 100 percent my fault.’ I just probably really shouldn’t have been racing that hard, that soon. I snuck up on him a lot quicker than I thought.
“Jimmie handled it like he handles everything else. He’s just a class act and a good guy. I also called Chad Knaus also. We reached out to those guys as well. It was just a tough way to get the racing season started.”