Elliott Sadler and the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team finished 12th in the Zippo 200 on Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen International. Following the event, in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season standings and the NXS Playoff standings, Sadler sits in fourth place.
The No. 1 Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team rolled off the grid for the 82-lap event in 13th. On just the third lap of the day, when the caution flag was displayed, Sadler relayed his Camaro was on the loose side. The veteran driver fought the tough-handling condition and made his way into 10th place within the next 12 laps. On lap 17, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX crew chief, Kevin Meendering, made the strategy call to bring Sadler down pit road under green for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment. When the first stage of the event concluded just a few laps later, the No. 1 team was in the 22nd position.
Because they elected to pit before the stage end, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team stayed out under the stage-ending caution. When Stage Two began, Sadler restarted in fourth. Shortly thereafter, the yellow flag was displayed for an incident and rain followed. It was then that the field came to pit road for rain tires and fuel. The changed track conditions brought a bit of a challenge for the No. 1 team as the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX driver battled to hold his position, but began to slip back after once again mentioning loose handling of his Chevrolet. When the second stage ended on lap 40, Sadler was scored in 23rd place.
Before the final stage of the race began, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team came to pit road. With the track back dry after just the short shower of rain, the team returned to slick tires, refueled and made another adjustment. Sadler continued to drive steady through the left and right turns before making a green-flag pit stop, following slight contact with a competitor that sent the No. 1 Chevrolet spinning. With the fresh tires and the help of his spotters, Sadler made his way back through the field from 27th place. Through a series of cautions and one additional pit stop for fuel, the team continued to make up ground. When the checkered flag waved concluding the race, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX driver had made his way into the 12th-place position.
Joey Logano won the first road course event of the season and was followed by AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola to round out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, driver Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team
“Today was definitely a challenge having to adapt to the wet and dry conditions. My guys fought hard all day long and made a great pit stop in the rain. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) also made some good strategy calls, keeping us competitive. We’ll take what we learned from this weekend and use it heading into the next two road course races.”
Laps Completed (Led): 82 of 82 (0)
Points (Bonus): 25 (0)
Point Standings (from leader): 4th (-26)