Speculation starting growing last month that Elliott Sadler may be out of a ride with JR Motorsports at the end of the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. His sponsor One Main Financial was stepping away from the sport for good which left Sadler searching for funding to continue on with his NASCAR career. In the meantime, rumors were starting to float around that he may not even be in the ride next year in general.
Trevor Bayne and Noah Gragson were listed as front runners to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet for JRM for the 2019 season. Well, on Wednesday morning, Sadler decided to announce that this would be his 21st and final season in NASCAR.
“After much consideration and many conversations with my family, I’ve decided this will be my last season racing full time in NASCAR,” Sadler said in a statement on Wednesday. “It’s time for me, as a Dad, to help my kids pursue their dreams. Wyatt is 8 and Austyn is 6 and both of them are very active in school and in extracurricular activities. I want to be with them for all of their special moments. I want to be there to hug them when they do well and dust them off and send them back out there when they fall. It’s time for me to be the full-time Dad that I want to be.
“As I look back, I’ve had an amazing career thanks to an overwhelming amount of support from so many family members, friends, team members, corporate partners and fans. I know I’m going to miss seeing all of y’all week in and week out. The people are what make our sport so special.”
“My work here is not done just yet. Dale Jr,. Kelley 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 love my guys and appreciate everything they’ve done for me since I came to JRM. It has been so much fun racing for Dale and Kelley because we’ve known each other for such a long time. It’s always fun to win and celebrate but it’s even more fun to do so with lifelong friends. I’m going to give everything I have in the playoffs to end my career on a high note.”
Sadler, currently sits in a tie for second in the XFINITY Series points standings and is having a very good season despite not winning a race yet. He’s made 383 career starts in the series with reaching victory lane 13 times to go along with 289 top 10 finishes. The Virginia native has never won a series championship before but has finished runner-up in the final standings four times including each of the last two years. Since he came back to the series on a full-time basis in 2011, he hasn’t finished worse than sixth in the final points standings with six of his seven years being in the top four.
He raced for several different teams in the XFINITY Series with stops with Kevin Harvick Incorporated, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush/Fenway Racing and JRM since 2011.
Sadler has also made 438 starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and won three times. He also had 69 top 10 finishes to his credit in NASCAR’s premiere series as well. To go along with that, he has a win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as he’s one of just a handful of drivers to win in all three divisions.
Overall, Sadler has made 841 starts in NASCAR and won 17 times.