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NASCAR

Elliott Sadler to Return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series With Joe Gibbs Racing This Season

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, after all of his hard work trying to get back to the top, it seems like things are headed in the right direction for Elliott Sadler. Sadler is currently driving a NASCAR Nationwide Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing after he wasn’t given the chance to move back into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Richard Childress Racing. Now, Sadler’s being given that opportunity with his new team.

Sadler had a previous relationship and still has one with Mars Incorporated which sponsored him when he was with Robert Yates Racing. Now, the two will reunite as Joe Gibbs Racing is putting Sadler in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the first time since the 2012 Daytona 500.

According to Lionelnascarcollectables.com, Sadler will be piloting the No. 81 Alertâ„¢ Toyota Camry. Though it doesn’t say when or where Sadler will be running the car, the likeliness of Sadler racing at the super speedways is high considering his success at those tracks. The team will also field him in a few intermediate races to evaluate how he’ll do on those tracks.

The move likely means that Joe Gibbs Racing is going to begin to evaluate Sadler’s potential return to NASCAR’s highest level. Sadler has been wanting to make his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since he left to drive for Kevin Harvick Incorporated in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. He’s done exceptionally well in the Nationwide Series and if it weren’t for engine troubles the past two weeks, he would probably be near the top of the championship rankings.

Now is Sadler’s time to prove that he can be competitive at NASCAR’s most intense division. If he messes up in the few chances he’ll be given later in the year, it could mess up his career and hopes of returning to where he used to be back in 2004.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.