NASCAR’s Elliott Sadler, an Emporia native, to retire from full-time racing after this season

August 17, 2018

NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler will retire from full-time racing at the end of this season, the 43-year-old Emporia native announced Wednesday on his website.

Sadler is currently in second place in the Xfinity Series, just 17 points out of the top spot with five regular-season races left.

Sadler said his decision to step away from full-time racing, something he’s done since 1995, is to spend more time with his family, helping “my kids pursue their dreams.”

Sadler has two children — son Wyatt is 8, and daughter Austyn is 6.

“I want to be with them for all of their special moments,” Sadler said in a statement posted on his website. “I want to be there to hug them when they do well and dust them off and send them back out there when they fall.

“It’s time for me to be the full-time dad that I want to be.”

Sadler, along with his brother Hermie, have had a major impact in motorsports in Virginia from racing go-karts at age 7 to his 1995 track championship at South Boston Speedway.

“Elliott Sadler has been a true competitor throughout his NASCAR career, and an outstanding supporter of motorsports in the Commonwealth,” said Richmond Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier. “The Sadler name has become synonymous with motorsports in Virginia. As one of the most beloved drivers in the region, Elliott will leave an indelible impact throughout motorsports in Racing Virginia.”

Sadler spent 12 seasons as a full-time Cup driver in NASCAR’s top series. He has three Cup wins, including two in 2004. In 2011, he began racing full time in the Xfinity series. He has 13 Xfinity wins and won the 2017 Xfinity regular season championship while racing for JR Motorsports.

“He was a total professional and we have had some great success,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on Twitter, saluting Sadler’s friendship over the years.

Heading into the final few races of 2018 and then the playoffs, Sadler wants to make the most of his last full season behind the wheel.

“We’re going to finish 2018 doing everything we can as a team to go out on top,” he said. “I’m going to give everything I have in the playoffs to end my career on a high note.”

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