Sadler Happy To Be Back With Ford
Elliott Sadler is driving the No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion for the first time this weekend in preparation for full-time duty next season. Sadler, who started his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, spoke about what his team hopes to learn in tomorrow’s race.
ELLIOTT SADLER – No. 19 Stanley Ford Fusion – DOES THE RAINOUT TODAY HURT YOU AS FAR AS LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE FUSION? “We learned a lot yesterday in practice, which, today being qualifying was three laps and what can we really learn from that? We learned a lot of stuff yesterday and I think our guys learned a lot about the Ford Fusion and how you work on it and the adjustments we can make to it. We don’t have winter testing anymore, and the Daytona 500 is one of my best races and it is the Super Bowl of our sport, so I’m glad the teams were able to get together and put this deal together where we can come here and race and learn some things about the Ford COT car, which I have never been in and Kasey has never been in and A.J. has never been in. So we wanted to learn these things as best we can before we get to Daytona in racing conditions. There’s only so much you can learn at a test anyway, if you even had it, but now that we don’t have it, this is a great test session for us. It’s like they told me yesterday, I was a lab rat this weekend – learning what we can learn for our race team for next year. We’ve already learned some cool things that we think we can do better to our cars before we go to the Daytona 500, so even before we drop the green flag it’s already been a success.”
IS THERE MORE YOU CAN LEARN IN THE RACE TOMORROW? “We can learn a lot as far as drafting is concerned, as far as the carburetors and the cowls and the engine stuff that the Ford has. I can put it through its paces tomorrow during the race and learn where it’s strong at, where it’s weak at, what my advantages are gonna be and what my disadvantages can be, and I can run that back to my teammates and say, ‘Look for this when we get to Daytona or look for that.’ I already met with Robbie Loomis and I already met with Sammy Johns and said, ‘This is what this car feels like. This is different than how my car felt here in the spring.’ They’ve already written all this stuff down, so we can build our cars toward that before we get to Daytona.”
YOU MAY HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A FUSION BEFORE YESTERDAY, BUT YOU’VE HAD ROUSH YATES HORSEPOWER UNDER YOUR HOOD. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THAT RELATIONSHIP AGAIN? “It’s great because it’s like Doug and I never left each other. As soon as I called him we went right into talking about what we needed to do when we came down here and what the objective was and what the goal was. We went through what the water temperature it needs to run in the draft, oil pressure, shifting points – everything I need to know as a driver that’s important to me and him – we fell right back into that. He was very up front about what we need to work on, what I need to look forward to, where he thinks the Ford motor is good at, so it was neat to be able to get back and have a working relationship with them for this weekend. Also with Todd Parrott over there just kind of overseeing some of the stuff because this is a Yates car, it was cool to kind of get some of the band back together again for this weekend.”