MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Elliott Sadler announced Wednesday morning that he will conclude his full-time career in NASCAR racing at the end of the season.
Sadler broke the news in a lengthy statement posted to his Twitter account and his website, citing a desire to spend additional time with his family and be present in the lives of his two children as the driving factor behind his decision.
His long-time sponsor, OneMain Financial, had previously confirmed that they would not be back with Sadler in the same capacity next season after sponsoring him in a majority of the season since his full-time return to Xfinity competition in 2011.
“After much consideration and many conversations with my family, I’ve decided that this will be my last season facing full time in NASCAR,” Sadler wrote. “It’s time for me, as a Dad, to help my kids pursue their dreams. Wyatt is eight and Austyn is six and both of them are very active in school and in extracurricular activities.
“I want to be with them for all of their special moments. I want to be there to hug them when they do well and dust them off and send them back out there when they fall. It’s time for me to be the full-time Dad that I want to be.”
Sadler, who turned 43 in April, began his NASCAR career with a Busch (now Xfinity) Series start at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in 1995, finishing eighth in a No. 46 DeWalt Tools-sponsored Chevrolet that listed his mother, Bell, as the owner.
Since that time, the Emporia, Va., native has made 841 starts among NASCAR’s three national divisions: the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Though Sadler notched three wins, 19 top fives and eight poles at the Cup level over 17 years and 438 races, he is best known for his prowess in the Xfinity Series, where he’s scored 13 victories and finished as the championship runner-up four times.
Sadler has raced for JR Motorsports since 2016 and been the model of consistency among the Xfinity Series field during that time, winning three races but scoring a staggering 36 top-five and 71 top-10 finishes in 87 starts during that span.
He’s also finished second in points each of the last two years.
“As I look back, I’ve had an amazing career thanks to an overwhelming amount of support from so many family members, friends, team members, corporate partners and fans,” said Sadler. “I know I’m going to miss seeing all of y’all week in and week out. The people are what make our sport so special.
“There are too many names to mention, but I’m appreciative for every car owner who gave me a chance, every crew chief who worked endless hours to provide me with fast race cars, every crew member who spent time away from their families to help my career and for every sponsor who partnered with me over the years. Thank you for all the support, and even more so, thank you so much for the memories.”
With 12 races remaining in the Xfinity Series season, Sadler ranks second in regular season points and hopes to close out his career with a long-awaited NASCAR championship.
“Make no mistake, my work isn’t done here just yet,” noted Sadler. “Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller) and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick have afforded me the opportunity to win races and championships at JR Motorsports. We’re going to finish 2018 doing everything we can as a team to go out on top.
“I love my guys and appreciate everything they’ve done for me since I came to JRM. It has been so much fun racing for Dale and Kelley because we’ve known each other for such a long time. It’s always fun to win and celebrate, but it’s even more fun to do so with lifelong friends. I’m going to give everything I have in the playoffs to end my career on a high note.”