Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team ran a strong race throughout the first two stages of the LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway before finding trouble, finishing 30th in the rain-shorted event on Saturday afternoon. After claiming a top-10 finish at the conclusion of Stage One and taking the green-white-checkered for Stage Two in first, Sadler continues to hold the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings lead and collected another bonus point for the series’ playoffs.
With morning showers cancelling qualifying, Sadler started third at the 2-mile D-shaped oval – due to his placement in the owners points. The veteran driver was quick to provide positive feedback on the handling of his OneMain Financial Chevrolet. On lap 10, while running in the second position, Sadler relayed he needed no changes. Following the first caution and restart of the day, Sadler got caught in the middle of three wide and fell to seventh. When the stage ended on lap 30, Sadler remained in the seventh position.
Under the stage-ending caution, the No. 1 team made a quick stop for four tires and fuel, gaining three positions on pit road. With other teams opting to remain on track or pitting for only two tires, Sadler restarted in 13th place. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet Camaro just like he did throughout Stage One. By lap 40, the OneMain Financial team was back in the fourth position. Crew chief Kevin Meendering elected to have the team stay out and take the lead as the leaders came to pit road under the lap 46 caution. Sadler restarted in first and led the one remaining lap of the stage, finishing first for Stage Two. By taking the green-and white checkered flag, the No. 1 team earned one point for the NXS playoffs.
As the final stage of the race began, the OneMain Financial team worked to continue building on their unique strategy and race the approaching rain. After falling to fourth and getting caught on the slower inside line, Sadler slipped back to eighth place. While racing for position, contact with the No. 23 Chevrolet sent Sadler into the wall causing slight right-side damage. Multiple pit stops for repairs put the OneMain Financial team in 34th place. Sadler was able to regain four positions before the restrictor-plate event was shortened due to rain. Ultimately, at the conclusion of the race, the OneMain Financial team was in 30th place.
Austin Dillon won the Irish Hills event and was followed by Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Ryan Reed and Paul Menard to round out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team:
“Man, we had a fast OneMain Financial Chevrolet today. I hate it for my guys to have gotten the finish we did. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) made a great call, getting us another championship point and had the car handling well all race. We were racing the rain and unfortunately didn’t get the rain as early as we needed it.”
Laps Completed (Led): 91 of 91 (10)
Points (Bonus): 21 (1)
Points Standings (from leader): 1st (+41)