Elliott Sadler and the Armour Chili team drove a strong race throughout Saturday’s 147-lap event, coming back from a pit road penalty to finish fifth at Darlington Raceway. Sadler remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings after claiming his 12th top five of the season.
After advancing to the final round, qualifying eighth, Sadler was quick to begin making passes at one of his favorite racetracks. The veteran driver had made his way into the sixth position before a lap-3 caution was displayed. Under the yellow, Sadler relayed that his Armour Chili Chevrolet was tight rolling through the center and loose on exit. Crew Chief Kevin Meendering made the call for Sadler to remain on track and hold his position. Fighting the tough-handling condition, the Emporia, Va., native was able to battle within the top 10 throughout the remainder of the stage. When Stage One concluded on lap 45, the Armour Chili Chevrolet was in seventh place.
Under the stage-ending caution, the No. 1 Chevrolet came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. Unfortunately, the team was hit with an uncontrolled-tire penalty, putting them in 23rd for the start of Stage Two. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet Camaro through the field with the help of his spotter, returning to the top 10 by lap 77. The Armour Chili driver then relayed to his team that the adjustment made at the conclusion of Stage One improved the handling of his Chevrolet, but his car was growing tighter throughout the run. When the stage ended on lap 90, Sadler was in the eighth-place running position.
Pitting for four tires, fuel and another adjustment, the No. 1 team began the final stage of the race in eighth. On lap 111, the yellow flag was displayed once again and Meendering called Sadler down pit road for the team’s final pit stop of the day. A quick stop put the team in fifth for the restart. Sadler raced with his teammate Tyler Reddick throughout the closing laps, working to gain on the leaders. Ultimately, when the checkered flag waved, the Armour Chili team was in fifth place.
Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR throwback themed event followed by Cole Custer, JR Motorsports driver Reddick, Denny Hamlin and Sadler to round out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, driver Armour Chili team:
“It was great to bring home a top-five finish in my last race at one of my favorite tracks. My guys worked hard all day, coming back from a penalty, to get our partner Armour Chili a solid finish. I’m thankful for my guys and all of their hard work each and every week. We have a few more races before the playoffs, so we’ll keep at this consistency and start our championship run on a high note.”
Laps Completed (Led): 147 of 147 (0)
Points (Bonus): 39 (0)
Points Standings (from leader): 2nd (-16)