RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia native Elliott Sadler retired after last year, but made his return into NASCAR’s Xfinity Series on Friday night in Richmond Raceway.
Even the Sadler drove for Kaulig Racing, finishing 12th in one of two intended starts this season. He’s also scheduled to race in Las Vegas in September.
“It’s very fantastic to be back. I was worried this week. I’m not going to lie,” he said about racing to the first time since last season’s finale in Homestead. “I didn’t sleep this week, wanting to come here, nervous and excited and all that fantastic stuff to come back into my home track. … It was good to be back in my office for a little while.”
A native of Emporia, about 70 miles away from Richmond, Sadler has hurried 56 times over the 0.75-mile oval rather than won.
“We didn’t run as good because I wanted to conduct of course,” he explained. “I got off us a bit throughout the midst of the race, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I am talking about, halfway throughout the race I was definitely smiling [believing ] I really kind of miss that this a bit.”
He said he was concerned about how he would handle not racing, but has been fine.
“I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my life. I tell my partner that all the time,” he explained. “I made the perfect decision, stepping off full time.”