In a statement on his official web site, XFinity series JR Motorsports No. 1 driver, Elliott Sadler announced he is retiring from full-time racing at the end of the 2018 season.
In Sadler’s statement, he said that after a lot of consideration and conversations with his family, he wants to help his kids pursue their dreams. His sons are 8 and 6 years-old, and both active in both school and extracurricular activities.
“I want to be to be there to hug them when they do well and dust them off and send them back out there when they fall,” he said in his statement.
When asked what Griffin’s most memorable moments with Sadler on and off the track were, Griffin said it was experiencing Sadler’s heart.
“We grew up together in the Cup Series,” Griffin said.
“We were both ‘rookies’ in 1999. He’s been like a brother to me for twenty years. We’ve won, lost, celebrated and cried together. It’s hard to swallow that three months from now, that chapter of him buckling into a racecar every week, is closing. But, that’s the reality of sports. No one competes forever,” Griffin said.
Griffin said he knew this day was coming, but it’s still hard to swallow.
“He and I have had a lot of difficult conversations over the years and the hardest part for me on him stepping back is I know he can still compete to win races and championships,” Griffin said.
The Xfinity No. 1 spotter said he knew Sadler’s priorities as a man are shifting toward his family.
“I know how much he hates to miss his kids playing ball and other activities,” Griffin said.
“I’m happy for him, though, because I know he’s going out on his own terms and doing so with a team and organization that truly value what he’s done with them over the past few years. JRM has been wonderful throughout the last few months as we’ve talked this out. He and I have enjoyed a hell of a good run for a long time together.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Career Stats
Sadler raced in the Cup series a total of 17 years — 1997-2017 (he didn’t race in the Series during 2011 and 2014-2016), in a total of 438 races. In those years, he had a trio of wins, 19 top 5’s and 69 top 10’s. He started on the pole 8 times.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Career Stats
If those 17 years in Cup weren’t enough, Eliott Sadler has still continued to have success in the Xfinity Series after leaving the Cup series. In 21 years in the Xfinity series, Sadler has raced in 383 races, with 13 wins, 102 wins, 219 top 10’s and 18 poles. THose numbers aren’t final yet though, as Sadler has the rest of the season.
“My work here isn’t done just yet,” Sadler said in his statement.
“Dale Jr., Kelley [Earnhardt], and Mr. Hendrick have afforded me the opportunity to win races and championships at JR Motorsports. We’re going to finish 2018 doing everything we can as a team to go out on top.”
I don’t know if he’ll run some part time next year or end up with a go kart he travels around with or end up coaching full time, but I know his life revolves around competition
“Elliott isn’t done racing and competing,” Griffin said.
“I know him too well for me to think any differently. I don’t know if he’ll run some part time next year or end up with a go kart he travels around with or end up coaching full time, but I know his life revolves around competition. He’ll always be competing and always be helping kids chase their dreams. He’s big on helping others and I know that’s what he’ll keep doing for many years to come.”