Elliott Sadler releases a retirement letter
Back-to-back championship runner-up, Elliott Sadler will retire at the end of 2018
Elliott Sadler ran 438 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series over a 17 year career. 11 of those seasons were as a full-time driver. He collected three wins along the way. Until 2013, Sadler totaled $46,968,494 in Cup Series race earnings.
Since 2011, the focus has shifted to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Sadler has collected 13 wins in the series.
Sadler has yet to win a season ending championship in either series. However, he’s claimed the runner-up position four times including 2011, 2012, 2016 and most recently in 2017 for JR Motorsports.
In 2017 he was crowned the regular season champion in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He went on to finish 2nd in the playoffs after battling for the win in the closing laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Earlier in the year, it was announced that OneMain Financial will be stepping back on their sponsorship support in NASCAR. The company has seen an ownership change several times in recent years.
Now, Elliott Sadler has announced that 2018 will be his final season as a full-time NASCAR driver.
Elliott Sadler retirement letter
Dear NASCAR Family,
“After mich consideration and many conversations with my family, I’ve decided this will be my last season racing full time in NASCAR. It’s time for me, as a Dad, to help pursue their dreams. Wyatt is 8 and Austyn is 6 and both of them are very active at school and in extracurricular activities. I was 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 Mom and Dad have always been my biggest fans. They always did whatever it took to provide me with competitive equipment and I’ll always be thankful for their sacrifices during the early years in my career. Hermie opened so many doors for me as my bigger brother and Missi was always at the track cheering from the sidelines.”
“Amanda has always allowed me to pursue my racing career despite the rigorous lifestyle. She’s kept the home fires burning while I’ve been out doing what I love. I look forward to the next chapter on our lives where we can spend even more time together and more time as a family.”
“There are too many names to mention, but I’m appreciative for every owner who gave me a chance, every crew chief who worked endless hours to provide me with fast racecars, every crew member who spent time away from their families to help my career and for every sponsor who partnered with me over the years. Thank you all for the support and even so, thank you so much for the memories.”
“NASCAR fans have always been the most loyal fans in sports. Thank you all for your support. It has been awesome to meet so many of you over the years at the track, at an autograph session or just out during my everyday life. Thank you for every time you’ve clapped when we’ve had good days and for all of the nice words on days when things didn’t go our way. I’m thankful social media is around and a way for us to all stay in touch.’
“My work here isn’t 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’re 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.”
— Elliott Sadler —
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Sadler has driven for JR Motorsports full-time since 2016. In the previous two year, he’s finished 2nd in the playoffs. His team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr released a note:
“I met Elliott Sadler racing late model stocks in the 90’s. We raced each other in the BGN series and on through several years at the Cup level.”
“We spent a ton of time together off the track. What I’ll always appreciate about Elliott, is how he valued our friendship. I always felt like with Elliott that my friendship mattered as much to him as it did to me. That’s what made having him drive at JR Motorsports so special. He was a total professional and we have had some great success.”
“Enjoy these last few months Elliott. Battle hard for that championship and leave no regrets. Love ya buddy.”
Jeff Burton was a fellow competitor of Elliott Sadler during their racing careers across many levels. Burton released the following note:
“You have much to be proud of. You have won races at every level you have competed in and have done it while earning the respect of those you worked with and also those that you competed against. The next few months will go by quickly, enjoy it!!”
“Thank you Elliott Sadler for everything you’ve done for NASCAR. You’ve helped Xfinity Series grow mentoring young drivers, while still racing at a high level, and being a fan favorite. We wish you nothing but the best over the rest of this season.”