Elliott Sadler and the Dale’s Pale Ale team brought home a fourth-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Following his fifth consecutive top-10 finish in five playoff races so far this season and after claiming the most points of any series regular, Sadler takes over the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings.
After advancing into the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler rolled off the grid for the 300-mile event by rounding out the top five. Sadler was quick to advance into the top three by lap 2 and relay feedback to his Dale’s Pale Ale team by lap 10. The Virginia native informed his team that his Chevrolet was overall handling well, but he was a little free in Turn 1. Throughout Stage One, Sadler ran among the top three. When the stage ended, the Dale’s Pale Ale team was running in the third position and was the highest among the NXS playoff contenders.
A quick stop under the stage-ending caution kept the No. 1 team in third place for the start of Stage Two. After getting caught on the outside, the veteran driver slipped back into fifth. Just six laps later, a quick caution was displayed and the team elected to stay out to hold onto their track position. Once again, the Dale’s Pale Ale Camaro fell back on the restart, feeling too free. Staying focused, Sadler drove his way from the 11th position to fourth place by the stage end. The Dale’s Pale Ale Chevrolet was the second highest NXS regular series car to finish the stage.
With multiple cars opting to stay out, Sadler began the final stage of the race in the 13th-place running position after choosing to visit pit road. With a fast Camaro and good handling, the Dale’s Pale Ale driver was able to race his way through the field and was back in the top three by lap 131. When the green-flag pit stops began, Sadler was running in third. Crew Chief Kevin Meendering made the call to take right-side tires and fuel only during the final pit stop. No adjustments were made. Once the green-flag pit stops cycled through, Sadler was in fourth. This position is where the Dale’s Pale Ale team would take the checkered flag just under 15 laps later. The No. 1 team finished the race highest of the all playoff competitors.
Erik Jones won the Saturday night NXS race, followed by Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Sadler and Cole Custer to round out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Dale’s Pale Ale team:
“All-in-all, my guys gave me a good racecar and put us in a good position heading into Phoenix. We earned the most points tonight, putting us in the playoff lead. We’re one step closer to our main goal of winning the championship. Our Dale’s Pale Ale team had a great weekend from start to finish. We feel confident in what we’re bringing to Homestead.”
Laps Completed (Led): 200 of 200 (0)
Points (Bonus): 48 (0)
Points Standings (from leader): 1st (+5)