NEW TEAM, ONE DREAM: Elliott Sadler will kick off the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season at Daytona International Speedway in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Sadler joined the JGR lineup in the off-season and will pilot the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Camry. The OneMain Financial driver finished second in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with four wins, four pole awards, 15 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes.
MEET THE CREW CHIEF: Crew chief Chris Gayle will call his first shots this weekend at Daytona for the No. 11 team. Gayle, however, is not a stranger to the pit box as he has served as senior team engineer for the No. 18 Sprint Cup Series Toyota team. The Little Rock, Ark., native has been with JGR for more than 10 years and attended the University of Arkansas and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Gayle is also on Twitter: @poindexter1414.
EXPERIENCE AT DAYTONA: Sadler heads back to the track where he earned his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole award in 1997. With seven starts in the Nationwide Series at Daytona, his best finish at the 2.5-mile track was last season where he started and finished in the third position in the February event. Sadler also has experience at the superspeedway in two other NASCAR series, making 25 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with four top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He also made two starts at the Daytona Beach, Fla., track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with one top-five finish and 56 laps led.
AROUND THE TRACK: Sadler will make an appearance at the Coca-Cola stage in the Daytona International Speedway Midway at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, February 23.
RACE INFO: The DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway will be on ESPN at 1:00 p.m. Fans may also tune in on MRN and SIRIUS XM 90.
Elliott Sadler Quotes: “It’s a new season, and I’m thrilled to be part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team. They have really treated me as part of the family already, and I can’t wait to get to Daytona to get this season rolling. The Nationwide Series is stacked this year, and there is going to be a fierce battle to the end for this championship. I really do believe that we have all the parts and pieces in place to win this championship. I feel great working with (crew chief) Chris Gayle, and Daytona is always such a big stage that it gets everyone that much more excited for the season. I think I’m a pretty good restrictor plate racer, and I think we have a really good plan going into this weekend.”
-Joe Gibbs Racing PR