Elliott Sadler has been in a slump lately where nothing has gone right as he only has one top 10 this year. So when it came to his announcement as towards what he was going to do next year, it was no surprise that he was leaving Richard Petty Motorsports.
However, the coming months would prove to change things even more as it’d be announced that he’d possibly be running the Camping World Truck Series or Nationwide Series next year for Kevin Harvick Incorporated (KHI).
A lot of people would consider this to be a bad thing as they’d consider it a bad step down in the chain. However, for Sadler, it all did with a change of perspective.
“If I leave and go to the Truck or Nationwide series, I’m not going there to run one year and end my career. I am going to restart it and do something else,” Sadler said on NASCAR.com. “Yes, it is a direction change, but my ego isn’t too big that it says I have to be a Cup driver or I can’t race. I don’t want to be a Cup driver that just rides around. That is not in my nature; I’m way too competitive of a person.
“I don’t care what division I race in as long as I am competitive and I’m having fun. I just want to win races and have a chance at a championship so we’ve got our fingers crossed.”
This past year running some Truck races for Kevin Harvick has offered that to Sadler. Sadler has made six starts for KHI, posting one win, two top-fives and three top-10s.
Another thing that Sadler likes about working with Harvick is the confidence that Harvick instills in his drivers.
“You know, when I felt like people might have turned their backs on me and done other stuff and left me in a tough situation, Kevin stepped up to the plate,” Sadler said. “He’s like, ‘Man, I believe in you, you can get this done. I want you to run my equipment.’ It has been a great situation. Kevin has done a lot to revive my career and give me confidence. He’s a great motivator right now.”
That motivational quality in Harvick is something that Ron Hornaday went through with Harvick when he joined the organization. The wheels had fallen off Hornaday’s career as he was being bounced around middle-field Nationwide teams. Once he got with KHI, everything took off and he has since won two more Truck championships.
So far all that’s been announced is Hornaday will be back to run the complete Truck Series schedule again while Sadler will be driving at least four races. Harvick would like to work Sadler into running more races, however it is known that he won’t do anything unless he knows that he’ll have the funding to be able to do it.
“Right now, he’s obviously a part of our Truck Series program and has run the Nationwide races,” Harvick said on NASCAR.com. “We’d love to have him play more of a role with the organization.”
The 2011 Plans for KHI should be finalized within the next month, Harvick added.
For Sadler, he is looking at all of his options and right now is considering this to be a way to restart his career and prove himself again.
“People have been asking me about that a lot lately and honestly I look at it like this,” Sadler said. “Jeff Burton said when he left Roush Racing and went to [Richard Childress Racing] he felt like he was restarting his career not going somewhere else to end it. I’m going here to start my career over to redo it and that’s kind of where I am at, too.”