Up to speed
Sadler's Season Update
We’re beginning to enter the summer portion of the season, and it’s a great point to look back and see how we’ve progressed this year. Last year at this time, we were eighth place in points, and currently we are fifth. Even more im-pressive is my teammate, Dale Jarrett, driver of the #88 UPS Ford Taur-us. He is currently in the seventh position, where he was 17th at this time last year.
I think we’re a better team now than what we were this week a year ago, because I think last year at the beginning of the season we were still all new to working with each other. Todd [Parrott] and I were a little new. Our engineering department was new, and we were still trying to feel each other out. Now, when I make the first lap on the race track, we know what direction we need to go in. So I think we’re definitely better as a team. Our pit crew is better this time of year than what it was last year, too.
I think I’ve got more experience than what I had a year ago. I’ve got more confidence. Last year we were still kind of reaching in the dark every once in a while to try to make things work, and I think this year we kind of know what pieces of the puzzle to put together to make it work.
A big difference for the M&M’S® Racing Team this season, I think, it that we’ve really worked on our short-track program a lot. Last year, that was our Achilles’ heel. This year, we scored more points on both short tracks at Martinsville and Bristol than any other race team, so we think that we’ve closed those valleys up. We are jelling together. We’ve got a lot of momentum. Every-body is getting along—a lot of important things that a race team needs to happen to run good week in and week out.
All last year, I heard that nobody really noticed us, even though we stayed in the top 10 all season long. That’s cool. If people want to write about us, they can. If they don’t, that’s cool, too. I mean, how can you argue with the statistics we’ve put up over the last forty-some races? I think we’ve been a great, great race team, and I think we’re going to continue to be a part of this Chase for the Champion-ship all year long. We’re going to slip up and win a race or two, hopefully, but as long as we’re consistent like I think we’re going to be, we should be fine.