Elliott Sadler announced on Wednesday that the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season would be his 21st and final one in the sport. But, he also didn’t rule out a return in a part-time role either. While he said on Wednesday that he was retiring, he said he was stepping away from “full time” racing. On Thursday at the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway, Sadler talked about his decision to step away from the sport that he loves but also shed some light that he’s willing to still compete on a need be basis.
Sadler said on Thursday afternoon that he has actually turned down full time offers from other teams to race in 2019 and that he’s not interested in racing for anyone else other than JR Motorsports.
“They’ve been so good to me,” Sadler said on JRM in the Bristol media center. “I’m not turning my back on them. Right now, I’m here just in case they need me. I hope they don’t need me, I’m not really taking any offers from anywhere else to go do anything else.
“I’ve got a great situation right now with good people and if I had to leave on this kind of note, a high note, I’d rather do it with good friends of mine than trying to go do something else.”
Sadler said that he’s open to running a car for them in select races but JRM is the only team he’d come out of retirement for. The Virginia native is currently in a tie for second in the XFINITY Series standings and in the hunt to win this year’s title. He’s finished runner-up in the final standings in four of the last seven years. He’s been to victory lane 13 times in 383 career starts but none since September 2016.
Sadler also said that OneMain Financial leaving had an impact on his decision to retire as not having funding for next season put him in a bind. Instead of putting all the effort into finding a new sponsor, it was time to just walk away.