Sports

Sadler aiming for another Xfinity race win at Talladega

Talladega, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Xfinity Series has competed at Talladega Superspeedway once each year since 1992.

In the 23 previous Xfinity races at Talladega, there have been 20 different winners. Martin Truex Jr. won three straight there from 2004-06, and Joe Nemechek scored the victory in the 1998 and 2000 events.

Of the 45 drivers on the entry list for Saturday's Winn-Dixie 300, three of them have won a previous Xfinity race at Talladega: Joey Logano (2012), Regan Smith (2013) and Elliott Sadler (2014).

Sadler is driving the No. 1 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing this season after spending the past two years with Joe Gibbs Racing. In last year's Xfinity race at Talladega, Sadler held off Chris Buescher and Smith following the last restart with three laps to go. He beat Buescher to the finish line by just 0.124 seconds, while Smith was just 0.146 seconds behind in third.

"We ran up front, bouncing back and forth in the top-five positions all afternoon, and in the closing laps, I was able to hold off the field and cross the finish line first," Sadler said. "Talladega is always a fun race to watch as a fan, because you never know how the race will end. But as a driver, Talladega can be one of the most frustrating races, because you can never predict what will happen. Hopefully, the No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang will be up front again and we can celebrate in victory lane as a back-to-back winner."

When Sadler won at Talladega, he moved to within one point of then leader Chase Elliott in the Xfinity standings. Elliott went on to win the series championship in his rookie season, while Sadler finished third in points.

Right now, Sadler is seventh in the championship standings. He is 49 points behind leader Ty Dillon. Elliott is second in the rankings (8 points behind), followed by Buescher (-11), Darrell Wallace Jr. (-25), Smith (-41) and Brendan Gaughan (-49).

Dillon won an ARCA Series race at Talladega in April 2011.

"I got one of my first ARCA wins here, and did it in a kind of Talladega fashion, as I was able to beat Frank Kimmel down the frontstretch and just edge him out at the finish line," Dillon said. "I love superspeedway racing. I've always loved the history in the things that have gone on here in the past. Every time we come to one of these racetracks, I feel like it's an opportunity for me to win and run well."

In February, Dillon finished third in the season-opening race at Daytona, his career-best finish in a Xfinity restrictor-plate race.

Series: NASCAR Xfinity. Date: Saturday, May 2. Race: Winn-Dixie 300. Site: Talladega Superspeedway. Track: 2.66-mile oval. Start time: 3 p.m. ET. Laps: 113. Miles: 300.58. 2014 Winner: Elliott Sadler. Television: FOX. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.