After months of speculation, it is finally official. At 1:45 p.m. Et. on Monday, all of the rumors finally came to an end.
Elliott Sadler will be behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the full NASCAR Nationwide Series season in 2013. Sadler will be joining Brian Vickers as the latest driver to be recruited to the Joe Gibbs Racing team as they are attempting to make it back to the Sprint Cup Series. Originally, Sadler was rumored to be running the full Nationwide Series schedule with a mix of several Sprint Cup Series races, but President of Joe Gibbs Racing, J.D. Gibbs begged to differ according to the breaking news which made news all over social media.
Sadler made the announcement official at 5 p.m. Et. on Sirius/XM Radio with David Moody and Mike Skinner’s wife, Angie Skinner.
“Well, actually we didn’t sign until Saturday, we didn’t get all of the parts and pieces in place, but as of Saturday afternoon, we made a deal with JGR to drive full-time Nationwide next year,” Sadler said as he officially stated his departure from Richard Childress Racing. “They have a great, great program over there. I think they won the Nationwide owners championship four out of the last five years and next year we have two full time drivers, myself and Brian Vickers going after the Nationwide championship and the owners championship.”
The Emporia, Virginia native said no sponsor has been signed on even though he said One Main Financial can possibly be following him along his journey back to the Sprint Cup Series in the years to come.
His car number is unknown as well which could possibly be the No. 18 which won the owners championship this past weekend and the No. 20 could go to Vickers. Gibbs stated that a third car will be run full-time which will be run by Kyle Busch, Drew Herring as well as possibly Matt Kenseth in a few races if he and the team decide to go through that route.
Sadler’s opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing should create his best opportunity at winning a championship. More importantly, Sadler’s comeback attempt at a career that was once nearly dead, is now glowing with a possibility at returning to the elite ranks of the series if he plays his cards right.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.