2008 NASCAR Fantasy Draft Kit: Elliott Sadler

An in-depth look at Elliott Sadler and how he might work on your fantasy NASCAR team for 2008.

elliott sadler

Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ 2007 season definitely emphasized the sad in Sadler. After joining the season midway through the 2006 season, the team had high hopes entering 2007. Unfortunately things got off course during offseason testing and the team spent the entire season righting the ship. As a result Sadler spent the year fighting ill-handling cars and experiencing his worst points finish since his second season in 2000. His 59.8 driver rating was 25th best and sums up a season with only 2 top ten finishes.

No where to go but up?

Things will certainly improve for Sadler and the team in 2008, but the big question is how much improvement? Obviously this hinges on GEM’s progress with the CoT and if they have resolved their intermediate track issues. Sadler made the Chase in 2004 and was in a great position to match that feat in 2005 before the bottom fell out and he hasn’t threatened for a Chase spot since.

Evernham’s cars have traditionally excelled on the intermediate tracks, not to mention qualifying, and both should play to Sadler’s strengths as a driver. He qualified pretty well in 2007, but quickly fell back in the races. With improved cars this year Sadler could actually take advantage of his starting position (17.4 since 2006). Texas is one of the better speedway tracks for Sadler and could be a spot where Evernham makes strides in 2008. Sadler is also an excellent plate racer at both Talladega and Daytona. And don’t think his plate success was only with Yates power. He finished 6th at the Daytona 500 and led 25 laps at the fall Talladega race before a late crash. Evernham, and Dodge in general, have made significant gains on restrictor plate tracks.

Elliott Sadlers best tracks

Two of Sadler’s better tracks might surprise you. He’s an underrated road racer. Wins aren’t quite in his grasp at Sonoma or Watkins Glen, but he has proven top tens are realistic. In 18 career starts in serpentine tracks he has 5 top tens. Sonoma is actually his strongest track based on average finish (15.4). He also tends to run well at tricky places like Dover, Bristol and Darlington.

Elliott Sadler’s new crew chief

New crew chief/team director/guy with clipboard and headset on pit box Rodney Childers moves over from the #10 team. He replaces Josh Browne, who is probably best known for getting suspended for the Daytona 500 for rules infractions (he’s also a very reliable placekicker). Childers previously worked with Scott Riggs for the last three years and helped Riggs to a nice 2006 season.

Is 2008 Elliott Sadler’s season?

This is a big year for Sadler. 7 out of his 9 seasons have finished with a points standing in the 20’s, yet he’s not that far removed from his breakout 2004 season when he finished 9th and won two races. This is his tenth full time season and at age 33 he’s in his supposed prime. He is capable of good runs at almost any type of track, but the key will be knocking out consistent results. At this point in his career arc he might be in the Dale Jarrett late bloomer mold (compare Elliott Sadler with Dale Jarrett’s numbers through 9 seasons and there are similarities), or go the way of the dodo like a Jeremy Mayfield.

Improving 13 spots in the points is a lofty goal, especially coming off a down year for the team. Sadler is a good enough driver that if GEM hits the setup with the CoT, he could win a race this year. That would be a welcome sight. His last win came at the fall Fontana race in 2004. A reasonable expectation is an improvement over the last two years but not quite to his 2004 level. How about a points finish in the high teens with 2 top 5’s and 9 top tens.

See our complete Elliott Sadler NASCAR Statistics.

Elliott Sadler 2007 NASCAR Season Statistics
Race Start Finish Pts Laps Status Winnings
Daytona 500 30th 6th 150 202/202 Running $407,153
Auto Club 500 38th 24th 91 248/250 Running $105,670
UAW-Diamler Chrysler 400 3rd 14th 126 267/267 Running $125,170
Kobalt Tools 500 2nd 18th 114 325/325 Running $92,670
Food City 500 3rd 27th 87 500/504 Running $103,420
Goody’s Cool Orange 500 18th 24th 96 498/500 Running $89,845
Samsung 500 15th 17th 117 333/334 Running $131,870
Subway Fresh Fit 500 21st 34th 61 308/312 Running $83,520
Aaron’s 499 39th 15th 123 192/192 Running $110,770
Crown Royal 400 40th 27th 82 398/400 Running $86,770
Dodge Avenger 500 17th 21st 105 367/367 Running $96,370
Coca-Cola 600 3rd 36th 55 261/400 Running $112,020
Autism Speaks 400 7th 26th 85 397/400 Running $98,795
Pocono 500 15th 21st 100 106/106 Running $86,370
Citizens Bank 400 39th 35th 58 196/200 Running $88,670
Toyota / Save Mart 350 12th 14th 121 110/110 Running $100,645
Lenox Industrial Tools 300 23rd 33rd 64 297/300 Running $89,195
Pepsi 400 22nd 33rd 64 153/200 Running $102,620
USG Sheetrock 400 31st 33rd 64 260/267 Running $101,570
Allstate 400 17th 28th 79 155/160 Running $162,320
Pennsylvania 500 14th 32nd 67 198/200 Running $83,520
Centurion Boats at the Glen 23rd 17th 112 90/90 Running $85,620
3M Peformance 400 5th 32nd 67 201/200 Running $91,745
Sharpie 500 21st 29th 76 497/500 Running $106,030
Sharp AQUOS 500 6th 35th 58 245/250 Running $104,345
Chevy Rock-n-Roll 400 9th 27th 82 399/400 Running $87,445
Sylvania 300 7th 38th 49 295/300 Running $87,220
Dodge Dealers 400 12th 17th 112 397/400 Running $91,120
LifeLock 400 15th 8th 142 210/210 Running $123,295
UAW-Ford 500 10th 24th 96 175/188 Off Track $94,120
Bank of America 500 16th 41st 40 228/400 Off Track $79,650
Subway 500 14th 40th 43 371/506 Running $78,420
Pep Boys Auto 500 10th 14th 121 329/325 Running $115,270
Dickies 500 19th 12th 127 334/334 Running $131,620
Checker Auto Parts 500 16th 27th 82 311/312 Running $85,695
Ford 400 31st 38th 49 250/267 Running $80,320