By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Not only did Elliott Sadler notch another top-five finish at Richmond Raceway, but the JR Motorsports driver clinched the NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championship and 15 Playoff Points. Sadler ran inside the top-10 throughout much of the night.
Sadler’s No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Camaro was competitive throughout the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. It wasn’t until the final stage of the race that Sadler finally cracked the top-five. He climbed as high as third, but had nothing for eventual race winner Brad Keselowski, as well as runner-up Kyle Busch. He did finish seventh in Stage 2, and was just outside the top-10 in Stage 1.
Sadler praise his JR Motorsports crew for his regular season success,
“I’m so proud of my guys, everyone at JR Motorsports. We had a really strong program this year. The last month we have run really good, especially on the ovals, so it was really good to come here to Richmond, run in the top five, and secure the Regular Season Championship. 15 bonus points is a lot, but this OneMain financial team is ready to go. We’re going to assess our Playoff form. We’re fired up and ready to go. To come here to Richmond, you always want to win at your hometrack, but to be in the top-five and run as good as we are, I’ll be very happy with that.”
Sadler has won the Regular Season Championship without winning a single race. He has come close, finishing second at both Talladega and Daytona earlier in the year. Sadler clinched the Regular Season with one race left before the Playoffs thanks to a 95-point lead over teammate William Byron.
Sadler admitted that to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship, he would have to win races,
“I think we’re going to have to win some races in the Playoffs. We know that, but we have had some cars capable of winning races this year but breaks haven’t gone our way, cautions haven’t gone our way. I made some mistakes like at Darlington last week. The cars have been fast, we have been very consistent, pit stops have been great, and we have great engines from HMS. So, we have the total package, it’s just that the driver has to put together an entire weekend.”
This was the 10th top-five and 18th top-10 of the season for Sadler. He is also approaching one more career-milestone with the possibility of 200-career Xfinity Series top-10s just five away.
Now Sadler and his entire JR Motorsports team get the chance to have some fun at Chicagoland Speedway, the final race before the start of the Xfinity Series Playoffs.