DOVER, Del. -- The relationship between veteran drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Elliott Sadler isn't new. Before JR Motorsports was even a thought in Junior's mind, the duo raced against one another in late models years ago and formed a kinship off the track. The pair's relationship added a new facet on Friday, when officials announced at Dover International Speedway that Elliott would drive for Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2016. Earnhardt Jr. broke the news earlier in the day via Periscope. "I'm excited to work with Elliott full-time and give him the best opportunity we can, to put him in the best car we can and to get to work with all our guys," Earnhardt said during the press conference at Dover on Friday. "... It's going to be a lot of fun. Winning races is great, but when you do it with your friends, it's even better." "We've been friends a long time and I feel like we've had each others' backs on and off the track a long time." Elliott added. "I think when you're vested personally like we are, I think to put this group together is going to be very, very exciting. "It makes you want to -- on so many different levels -- to do a good job and perform like you're supposed to. Not only on the race track, but off the race track." Elliott's number and crew chief are yet to be determined, but he will bring long-time sponsor OneMain Financial from his current Roush Fenway Racing ride. In a sport that thrives on sponsorship, a long-term supporter like OneMain Financial gives team owner Earnhardt a sense of steadiness. " Elliott has worked with One Main for a very long time so that's an easy relationship to trust and get behind and be a part of," Earnhardt said. " … I will say when we told our employees on the shop floor, they were ecstatic. It brings stability and those people really depend on that. When they see those cars go out of the shop without a sponsor on them, that makes everybody nervous." JR Motorsports currently fields three cars in the XFINITY Series with reigning series champion Chase Elliott and Regan Smith behind the wheel full-time, and a group of drivers, including Ben Rhodes as well as Sprint Cup stars Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne piloting the third car. For Sadler , who has won 10 races in the XFINTY Series and three times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the chance to drive for an established team like JRM is a prime opportunity – one that supersedes getting back into a Sprint Cup car for now. "I want to be competitive in the XFINITY Series. I want to win races," Elliott said. "... There's nothing like leaving your house on a weekend going to the race track, knowing you have the opportunity to lead laps, sit on poles, run up front. "... My goal right now, and my heart and soul, and my passion is still very great when I come to the track. But it's more what I can do on Saturdays and what I can do in the XFINITY Series. If I go out and do a great job and win every race and those ( Sprint Cup ) opportunities come, we'll look at that at that time. "But right now, man, we've got to jump on this -- this is great."
Veteran to pilot No. 1 Ford in XFINITY Series RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Elliott Sadler will join Roush Fenway Racing in 2015 to compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, according to the organization and sponsor OneMain Financial. Sadler , currently competing for Joe Gibbs Racing, will pilot the No. 1 RFR Ford. A 10-time winner in the series, he is fourth in points heading into Saturday’s O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET). "It's an honor to remain with OneMain Financial next year," Sadler said. "I’m thrilled for the opportunity to race under the OneMain Financial banner and team up with Roush Fenway Racing to compete for the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship in 2015." The 39-year-old Sadler has 260 career starts in the series with 16 poles and 128 top-10 finishes. He is also a three-time winner in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. He is one of 24 drivers to win at least one race in each of NASCAR’s three national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series). OneMain, previously CitiFinancial, has a prior sponsor relationship with RFR. "They are a first-class organization from top to bottom," said Steve Newmark, president of RFR. "We enjoyed a great partnership in the past and we look forward to reigniting that relationship moving forward next season. "( Elliott ) is a seasoned veteran and a winner on the track. He brings a reputation as a fierce competitor and I know that our entire organization … will benefit from his experience next season." Sadler will join current RFR drivers Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
How will Sadler fare with new crew chief Phil Gould?
Elliott Sadler wins his first Nationwide Series Race in 2014 and celebrates in Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway.
No. 1 driver caught up in multi-car pile-up during final laps It’s difficult to be too disappointed with second-place when second is your best result of the season. It’s difficult to be too disappointed with second when only a handful of laps earlier, your car was pinched hard against the outside wall and thoughts of seeing the checkered flag were quickly fading. But Elliott Sadler finished second in Saturday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. And he was disappointed. “Tonight was really a ‘what could have been race,’” the Roush Fenway Racing driver said after trailing Austin Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ) across the finish line at DIS. Sadler ’s No. 1 Ford Mustang managed only two top 10s through this year’s first eight races. But Saturday night’s was Sadler ’s fifth in his last seven starts. After avoiding trouble in a 12-car crash with 10 laps remaining, Sadler was running second, outside of leader Brian Scott , three laps from the finish when Scott move up the track in an attempt to halt Sadler ’s progress. Contact sent both cars into the outside wall. Ten more cars were swept up in the incident on the 2.5-mile track. “We were definitely in the catbird seat there going down the back straightaway there; we had Joey Logano pushing us and had a lot of momentum coming off Turn 2 and were making our way to the front,” Sadler said. “I think either Brian or his spotter made the block too late; I was already up to his right rear tire. He made the block to late and wrecked us. It was nothing intentional, it’s just racing. It just stinks that it’s it happened to us. Two restrictor-plate races in a row we were in really good shape with less than four laps to go and couldn’t pull it off. “But tonight really stinks because we were fast all night. In the top-four or five all night and then the wreck happened. “Second place is a good finish; it’s our best finish of the year. But it’s not what we came to Daytona to do but we’ll have to take it and move on.” Defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) finished third while teammate Kasey Kahne was fourth. Benny Gordon completed the top five. Points leader Chris Buescher , involved in the first of the two multi-car incidents, managed a 12th-place finish. More importantly, he managed to retain his hold on the points lead as well. He now leads Elliott by 34 points. Ty Dillon (26th) fell from second to third. Buescher said he nearly avoided the wreck, “but then got trunked from behind and at that point you are just along for the ride. “The guys did a nice job fixing it and it was a good recovery considering where we were. To come home P12 isn’t bad.” Scott led the most laps (84) but wound up 23rd. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Elliott Sadler isn't saying he will be back with Roush Fenway Racing for the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. And the veteran racer isn't saying he won't. "There are a lot of moving parts right now," Sadler said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "... Just when you think something is going to happen, something else happens over in the corner. There's a lot of stuff going on, so we'll see." Sadler said a recent report that he would exit Roush for JR Motorsports after the 2015 season and take sponsor OneMain Financial with him "was about 50/50." "Fifty percent true and 50 percent not true," he said. "The true part was I had not signed and have not signed with anybody, so that part of the report was definitely true. The rest of it, I have no idea about." Sadler , 40, has 10 career wins in the XFINITY Series. He is in his first season with Roush. He is fifth in the points standings, and has finished ninth or better in 10 of his last 13 starts coming into the Food City 300 at Bristol. A wreck with Brendan Gaughan brought Sadler's night to an end earlier than planned. In addition to three Sprint Cup Series teams, Roush Fenway Racing fields XFINITY Series teams for Sadler , points leader Chris Buescher , Bubba Wallace and Ryan Reed . "I don't have anything to announce here today," Sadler said. "We're still working through some things for next year. ... I want to be a part of this sport. I want to be competitive. I still think to this day that last five years there's no other XFINITY regular that has more poles and more wins than I do and I want to keep that going. I want to stay competitive and stay up front." Sponsor OneMain has the longest tenure of any XFINITY Series sponsor currently in the sport, he said. "They want to be in this sport for a long time and hopefully we'll be able to do that."
High temperatures lead to driver dehydration in XFINITY Series race Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway saw high speeds and even higher temperatures. Race winner Kyle Busch along with Ty Dillon and Elliott Sadler were taken to the infield care center post-race, where the drivers were all treated and released. "It's a hot day," Sadler said, noting his air conditioning wasn't working for 80 percent of the race. "I got hot. With like 30 (laps) to go I was like, 'Man, this is a lot hotter than I've been in a race car in a long time.' I had to stick it out." A few drivers even took to Twitter to comment on the heat. Hot hot day but we rebounded nice with our @BassProShops @TeamChevy chipping away at the points lead. Not bad for blowing up in practicelap1 — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) July 25, 2015 Definitely hotter with this rules package https://t.co/EWz4Ztkmw3 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) July 25, 2015
After finishing as the runner-up in 2011 and 2012, Sadler finished in fourth place in 2013
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler announce that Sadler will join JR Motorsports in the XFINITY Series in 2016.
Sadler heads to Las Vegas third in the standings