Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team brought home a 10th-place finish in the rain-delayed Drive for the Cure 300 on Saturday evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After claiming his 22 top-10 finish of the season, Sadler sits third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff standings and has advanced to the Round of 8.
Sadler began the 200-lap event from the seventh-place starting position after qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather. The Emporia, Va. native remained quiet over the radio as the field raced single-file throughout the opening laps. On lap 15, the No. 1 driver relayed over the radio that his Camaro was a little tight rolling into the center. Following the restart after the first caution of the day, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet received front right-side damage after contact was made with the No. 48 of Brennan Poole. When Stage One ended on lap 45, Sadler had slipped back and was scored in 20th place.
Before Stage Two began, the OneMain Financial team made their first stop down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, repairs and an adjustment. The team returned to pit road under the stage-ending caution for a second time to make additional right-side repairs. On the restart, Sadler was in 27th place. When the caution flag waved for an incident in Turn 1 while completing lap 63, the veteran driver had made his way into the 16th-place running position. The No. 1 crew chief, Kevin Meendering, made the call for Sadler to stay out and hold his track position. Sadler continued his drive forward, battling the tight-handling condition, to claim a ninth-place finish at the end of Stage Two.
The OneMain Financial team opted to visit pit road once again under the stage-ending caution. With a quick pit stop, the No. 1 driver took the restart for the final stage from the sixth-place position. While running in sixth around lap 130, Sadler was the highest NXS series regular. Opting to take a chance, the OneMain Financial crew chief called Sadler down pit road under the lap-142 caution for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. With other teams remaining on track, Sadler found himself driving through the field from the 19th position following the restart. Able to hold his track position under the following restart while the leaders pitted, the No. 1 Camaro restarted in second place on lap 166. Sadler raced his JR Motorsports teammate William Byron for first before he slowly began to slip back as teams with fresher tires made their way through the field. When the raced concluded just over 30 laps later, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet was in 10th place.
Alex Bowman won the race, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillion and Poole to round out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team:
"It was unfortunate we had some damage early on, but the guys did a great job fixing our Chevrolet and made awesome pit stops. I appreciate Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) taking chances and being aggressive. We made it to the next round and have some good tracks coming up. I'm proud of this team and can't thank OneMain Financial enough for the opportunity to run this pink breast cancer awareness paint scheme."