Tha Sports Junkies 101

Elliott Sadler Wins Xfinity Darlington Race

Sadler wins Xfinity Race


NASCAR has been racing at Darlington Raceway since 1950. Elliott Sadler hasn’t been racing there for quite that many years. But he sure felt like he had been trying to get to victory lane at the 1.366 mile oval for almost as long.

Despite a spirited charge from Denny Hamlin over the final few laps, Sadler held on to score his 12th career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, taking the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Sadler appeared to have the race in hand with a one second lead in the closing laps until he swiped the wall with 2 laps remaining. Elliott’s “Darlington stripe” allowed Hamlin to close in and swoop past for the lead. However, Sadler immediately countered and took the top spot back for good. Denny pulled up to the leader’s bumper on the final lap but wasn’t able to get by.

For Sadler, it was clear just how much the win meant. After crossing the finish line, he exclaimed “Been trying to win here for a long time!” over his JR Motorsports team radio. He came around to the frontstretch, got out to collect the checkered flag and pumped his fist in jubilation. Elliott first raced at Darlington in 1996 with a previous best of second in both the Xfinity Series (2013 & 2014) and the Sprint Cup Series (2002).

Following runner up Hamlin to the line in third was Daniel Suarez, fourth went to Kyle Larson, and Brennan Poole rounded out the top five finishers. Larson had a great recovery after spinning during an attempt to get to pit road during a round of late race green flag pit stops. As Larson got going, a three car crash occurred to bring out the third caution, giving Kyle a chance to catch up with the field.

Sixth through tenth were Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, and Ryan Preece scored his first career top ten finish in the Xfinity Series.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to action on Friday September 9th at Richmond International Raceway at 7:30 pm EST on NBCSN.