Elliott Sadler completed a 25-year NASCAR career on Saturday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway but doesn’t plan to be a stranger from the stock car racing community.
In fact, upon climbing out of his JR Motorsports No. 1 and finding team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., he told his friend and boss during their post-race celebration that they were going to race at Myrtle Beach Speedway at some point early next year.
“We’re going to do that, you better believe it,” Sadler told Short Track Scene after the race. “I definitely want to spend some time with my family, but I’m going to get the itch.
“I’ve already told Martinsville that I want to get a grandfather clock and I want to go home to South Boston and race a little bit too.”
Sadler is the 1995 South Boston Speedway track champion, who has also made three starts there when it was on the old NASCAR Busch Series schedule — the precursor to today’s Xfinity Series.
But Sadler wants to take Dale Earnhardt Jr. to his de facto home track in Myrtle Beach, where he won for the first time in a Late Model Stock and made his own Busch Series debut back in 1996. Sadler hopes to share a Late Model with Earnhardt sporadically next season in addition to the one ran by full-time JRM driver Josh Berry.
However, Earnhardt isn’t sure he is going to be able to race, instead deferring the on-track time to Sadler.
“I was going to get a seat made because I wanted to run the Icebreaker at Myrtle Beach in a Late Model race but I don’t think my wife is going to let me do that,” Earnhardt said. “But that’s what we were talking about.
“Elliott is like, ‘man, let’s run some Late Model Stock’ races next year. I’m like, ‘yeah, I’m probably not going to get to.’ I’m going to have a car ready if he wants to drive it, but it needs to be in the first half of the season so I can go with him.”
The Myrtle Beach Icebreaker is typically held the first weekend of February before the NASCAR season begins.
For both Earnhardt and Sadler, they view it as an opportunity to relive their formative years, when racing was a hobby and not a business. Earnhardt has spoken before about not appreciating his time in a Late Model like he should have because he was so hyper-focused on making it to NASCAR.
“Elliott and I, we did so much running around having fun together when we were young in Xfinity Series, in the Cup Series early years and all that, we raised hell and partied,” Earnhardt said. “Everywhere we went we looked for each other. And so the friendship has been there for so long. We never thought we’d work together or race together. Why would that happen? And here we are.
“Hope to keep doing that in some way.”