By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
A home track victory for Elliott Sadler wasn’t meant to be, but he ended up scoring $100,000 for being the highest Xfinity Dash 4 Cash driver after finishing third in Friday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia, leading 30 of 250 laps.
“I just really wanted to win at this track and we were so good in the middle of the race, but I got a little bit too tight there at the end,” said Sadler. “So proud of everybody on this Team Chevrolet Camaro and JR Motorsports. They know what this track means to me and what these fans mean to me. They come from Virginia to come watch us race.”
Despite not going to Victory Lane, he was thrilled of winning his fourth career Dash 4 Cash and kept his championship points lead over Bell by 29 points.
“To not win the race is bad, but to win $100,000 dollars is great. My wife (Amanda) is probably already spent it,” Sadler said. “Thanks to Peter and everybody from Xfinity for doing what they’re doing for our series. $100,000 dollars comes a long ways.”
After scoring a Stage 2 win, Sadler restarted in first on Lap 163, but went wide into Trun 1, giving the Joe Gibbs Racing Gibbs teammates of Christopher Bell and Xfinity Series debutant Noah Gragson the advantage.
Bell went on to deny the Emporia native’s bid of snapping a near two-year winless streak, dating back to September 24, 2016 when he won at Kentucky Speedway.
Sadler added his No. 1 Team Chevrolet Camaro was battling a tight car at the end of the race, but was pleased of scoring his sixth top-5 in eight races.
“It took my car awhile to get going and we knew that. It was a little bit tighter this time than we wanted be at the end race and those other guys definitely made some good adjustments,” Sadler explained. “All in all, it was a great run for us. Another top-5 for the season, so we can’t hang our heads. It was cool to win the Dash 4 Cash and we’re part of the Dash 4 Cash going to Talladega next week as well.
“We always want to win at this race track and it’s a shame to come up short tonight. But the guys gave me a really good race car, but we just missed it just a little bit at the end.”
The third leg of the Dash 4 Cash heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the Sparks Energy 300 April 28th.
Sadler finished second to Aric Almirola last year, but has two wins (2014 and 2016) on his resume, giving the points leader a strong opportunity of returning back in Winner’s Circle.