By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
It was not a typical race of survival for Elliott Sadler at Pocono Raceway. The NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Points Leader had to nurse a car that almost fell apart to earn a top-10 finish in the Pocono Green 250.
Sadler restarted deep in the field in his No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Camaro SS. With the restrictor plate aero package being used at Pocono, the draft was a bigger factor than in previous seasons at the 2.5-mile track. As he attempted to bump-draft with his JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier, contact sent Allgaier into the outside wall.
Allgaier ricocheted back down, collecting Christopher Bell. Somehow, Sadler avoided both spinning cars without further incident. In the remaining green flag laps, he quietly and methodically passed driver after driver until he stalled out in the sixth position.
What put Sadler deep in the field was a bizarre mechanical failure. Between the first and second stages, the team noticed a part hanging in the rear of the car. With help from teammate Tyler Reddick, Sadler’s crew chief, Kevin Meendering, determined that the oil cooler had broken loose. The team utilized the long caution laps at the ‘Tricky Triangle’ to make repairs, effectively tying the oil cooler to the chassis.
The sixth-place finish is the 12th straight top-10 for Sadler this season. It is also the 13th straight top-10 finish for him since Homestead last year. Sadler is the only driver to have finished inside the top-10 in every race this season. He remains the Points Leader, 229-points ahead of the cutoff for the Playoffs, held by Ross Chastain. Sadler is third among drivers that have earned Playoff Points, behind Bell and Reddick.
Now Sadler, Meendering, and the entire JR Motorsports team will prepare to use this same aero package in the LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway on June 9.