Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Sadler ends long skid in Nationwide series

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Elliott Sadler pulled up to the grandstand, revved his engine and spun his tires until there was hardly any rubber left.

After waiting so long for a Nationwide win, Sadler wanted to enjoy this one.

He took the lead after a late caution Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway and held on for his first win in NASCAR's second-tier series in 14 years.

"It's a very emotional win," Sadler said. "We all know how long it's been since I was in Victory Lane."

A former full-time driver in Sprint Cup, Sadler started eighth and didn't get near the lead until the end of the Bashas' Supermarkets 200. He passed Brad Kese­lowski after a caution with 33 laps left and wasn't really challenged.

It was Sadler's first Nationwide win since Oct. 31, 1998, at Rockingham — so long ago that the series was called Busch Grand National then.

Keselowski finished second, and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse was third.

SPRINT CUP: Mark Martin earned the pole, his 52nd in the series, for today's race at Phoenix. His lap of 136.815 mph on the one-mile oval edged series champ Tony Stewart's 136.126.

INDYCAR: CEO Randy Bernard said there has been no talk of a driver boycott at Texas Motor Speedway, and the series will be there June 9 as planned. A report two weeks ago indicated drivers were discussing a boycott over concerns about the track's fences. Dan Wheldon was killed in an October crash when his head hit a post in the fence at Las Vegas.

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