Elliott Sadler was all kinds of pissed off Saturday night after losing another Xfinity Series Championship. Sadler turned his anger to Ryan Preece driver of the #18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing. According to Sadler in his mind at least, Preece should have moved over, from third place, and allow Sadler to pass. You know, because that’s how racing works.
— Zack Albert (@zack_albert) November 18, 2017
Sadler was HOT. Yelling in Preece’s face because Sadler wasn’t aware Preece was racing for his own championship. The #18 car was racing for the Owner’s Championship, something Sadler didn’t know or didn’t care about. Preece to his credit was super apologetic even after Sadler nearly turned him and then screamed in his face.
Elliott Sadler makes a desperation attempt to get by Ryan Preece and it doesn't work out! pic.twitter.com/9sA4tmXeBV
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 18, 2017
Elliott Sadler has no one to be mad at but Elliott Sadler. After William Byron got in the wall Sadler was able to run away from him in a sense. He caught Preece who was running in 3rd. Instead of methodically getting around Preece, Sadler panicked. He attempted to pass Preece from 8 car lengths back going into turn 1 like he was Takuma Sato at Hockenheim. Maybe even a little Carl Edwards at Kansas circa 2008. That move killed his momentum off turn 2 and allowed Byron to catch back up.
The video below misses the late dive but shows the aftermath and Byron’s championship-winning pass.
Sadler killed his own chances. It wasn’t Ryan Preece that cost Elliott Sadler the championship. It was Elliott that cost himself the championship. Trying to make a late deep dive like that outside of the bedroom was ill-advised. It killed all the momentum the 1 had and the #9 ate him alive. Byron very much rose from the dead and took the championship from Sadler.
Sure Sadler should be mad. But to take your frustration out on Preece was a head-scratcher. “Goddammit, Ryan you made me cost myself a championship.” Or something like that. Preece to his credit didn’t back down. He is here on talent and deserves to be on the track as much as Sadler. Preece has been in 4 races this season, he beat Sadler in all 4 races.
It has to be frustrating for Sadler to end year 7 of Xfinity competition and still have no championship trophy to show for it. All 4 teams Sadler has driven for in that time have won championships. Unfortunately for Sadler, the competition is getting younger and he’s getting older.
Sadler is the only person he should be mad at. The race doesn’t consist of 2 cars, you have to race. Preece did nothing wrong, Sadler made a mistake.
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