Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team earned a seventh-place finish in the Overton’s 200 late Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sadler’s highest-finishing position out of the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars at the conclusion of Stage One and second highest following Stage Two allowed him to hold onto his NXS point standings lead.
After advancing into the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler began the 200-mile event in eighth place. On lap 15, the Virginia native relayed to his team that his No. 1 Chevrolet was tight rolling into the center, but overall handling well. As weather neared the speedway, Sadler was racing his teammate, William Byron for seventh place. It was on lap 31 that the yellow flag was displayed for a competitor before going to red as inclement weather reached the track. After the race resumed, the OneMain Financial team elected to stay out and maintain track position. The team restarted the race in second, alongside teammate Justin Allgaier. Sadler took over the lead and led five laps before he was passed by teams with newer tires. When the stage ended on lap 45, Sadler was in the fourth-place running position—the highest position of any full-time series driver.
Opting to visit pit road under the stage-ending caution for fresh tires and fuel, the No. 1 team began Stage Two in 13th place after other teams decided to remain on track. With adjustments being made in the right direction, the OneMain Financial driver raced his way back into the top 10 within just three laps. Continuing to make his way through the field with the help of his spotter, Sadler was back racing Byron for fifth place—and the highest position among Xfinity Series drivers—as the stage end was closing in. Unable to complete the pass, the No. 1 Chevrolet finished the stage in sixth.
A quick pit stop following Stage Two gave the OneMain Financial team a top-five starting position for the final long run of the race. The veteran driver was quick to report chatter in his right-rear tire, but remained on track, driving through the tough-handling condition. The team fell back a few spots during the long green-flag run, but raced their way back to seventh before coming to pit road under green. The fresh tires, adjustment and fuel top off gave Sadler the handling he needed to make his way back forward. A strong final drive gave Sadler and the OneMain Financial team their 11th top-seven finish of the season.
Kyle Busch won the NXS event, followed by Ryan Preece, Byron, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski to round out the top five.
Quote from Elliott Sadler:
"My guys did a great job today and battled hard all day. This OneMain Financial Chevrolet handled pretty good throughout the track changes with the rain, but had a little vibration in Stage Two in the right-rear tire that caused us to fall back a little. We’ll take this and move on to the next one."
Laps Completed (Led): 199 of 200 (5)
Points (Bonus): 42 (0)
Points Standings (from leader): 1st (+45)