LAS VEGAS – After retiring from full-time competition at the end of last season, Elliott Sadler has confirmed that Saturday’s Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be his final start as a professional racer.
Sadler, a winner in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series, will make his farewell appearance in a Kaulig Racing-prepared Chevrolet Camaro carrying a livery honoring Sadler’s first late model from 1993.
Prior to stepping away from full-time competition last year, Sadler competed for JR Motorsports, earning three wins and two runner-up points finishes under the command of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“This is a pretty emotional week for me. (I’m) going into my last ever time of buckling up the helmet as a professional race car driver,” noted Sadler. “I’ve got a lot on my mind. There’s a lot of emotions and a lot of memories. I know this is the final time I’ll put my seat belt on and take a green flag of a NASCAR race.
“It’s a lot to go through, but I also want to put my best foot forward and end on a strong note as well. I can’t thank Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice and everyone at Kaulig Racing for giving me this opportunity to be a part of their team,” Sadler added. “And I definitely can’t thank Nutrien Ag Solutions enough for their support of my career and my final race.”
Sadler is a four-time runner-up in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and 13-time winner in the series across 22 years of competition. Saturday will be his 397th Xfinity Series start.
At the top level, Sadler made 438 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, with three victories, 19 top fives and 69 top-10 finishes, as well as eight pole positions. His last Cup win came in September of 2004.
But much of Sadler’s tenure has been as a veteran in the Xfinity Series, which makes it a fitting place to say his good-byes this weekend, as he closes a chapter of his life and moves forward with family.
He’ll do so in a pale yellow and red-accented machine that takes the Emporia, Va., native back 26 years, to the earliest short-track days of his career.
“I thought all of the surprises in my driving career had come to an end, until Kaulig Racing showed me my first ever late model paint scheme on the No. 10 car this weekend for what will be my final race of the year,” Sadler noted. “I’m so thankful to Nutrien Ag Solutions for allowing me to drive this car. This is the perfect paint scheme for me, personally, this weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun to strap in one last time at a fast place like Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“The paint scheme – that was a surprise I truly wasn’t expecting. I appreciate the Nutrien Ag guys so much for doing that,” said Sadler. “It means a lot to me and my family. That paint scheme really helped kick start my career in the right direction. (It’s) kinda what we were known for back in the day. Thanks to them for giving up their paint scheme and their look – kudos to them guys. Thanks again for that.
“We’ll try to do them right and do them proud and go out on top with a bang at Las Vegas.”
If that weren’t enough, Kaulig Racing team president Chris Rice will be Sadler’s crew chief on Saturday, just like he was in the early 1990s when Rice and Sadler won the South Boston Speedway track championship together in 1995.
“It’s so awesome to have Nutrien Ag Solutions allow us and join us in running this special paint scheme from Elliott’s original stockcar days,” Rice said. “This paint scheme means so much to not only Elliott, but to his parents Herman and Bell, his family, myself, and various other fans throughout his career.
“We won tons of races with this paint scheme, and thanks to Nutrien Ag Solutions, Matt Kaulig and all of those at Kaulig Racing, we have the opportunity to go out and try to win one more.”