By admin | January 14, 2009
Â By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#19- Elliott Sadler
The #19 team of Gillett Evernham Motorsports has provided what has to be the strangest story of the 2008-2009 off season. The madness began when team founder and minority owner Ray Evernham announced he was buying a dirt track in North Carolina and was going to focus his efforts on the running of that facility. He seemed to be essentially admitting he was no longer a vital member of the team he once owned exclusively.
Shortly thereafter stories had it that driver Elliott Sadler was being replaced by A.J. Allmendinger.
Apparently, legal action was either taken or at least threatened by Sadler. Then, an announcement came that Sadler was indeed the driver of car #19. It was later announced that new comer Kevin Buskirk would serve as crew chief on the ride.
In 2008, Sadler had two Top 5s and eight Top 10 finishes. There were moments last season in which he looked competitive. Unfortunately for the team, those moments were few and far between. Sadler finished 21st in the final standings.
It seems highly improbable that much good can come from the winter turmoil this team has gone through. This could result in one of those situations in which a couple of bad runs may cause a full scale fall out.
Driver: Elliott Sadler
Owner: Richard Petty Motorsports
Sponsor: Best Buy & Stanley Tools
Crew Chief: Kevin Buskirk
Scanner Frequencies(?): 456.8500 & 452.4500
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: No. Just making it to the end of the season could be in doubt for Sadler.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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