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Martinsville: Elliott Sadler preview

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Martinsville: Elliott Sadler preview
Mar 25, 2008, 12:29 AM

VIRGINIAN SADLER DEBUTS McDONALD'S PAINT SCHEME ON NO. 19 DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY No. 19 Dodge driver Elliott Sadler carries the familiar McDonald's paint scheme this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Martinsville Speedway.

VIRGINIAN SADLER DEBUTS McDONALD'S PAINT SCHEME ON NO. 19 DODGE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

No. 19 Dodge driver Elliott Sadler carries the familiar McDonald's paint scheme this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Martinsville Speedway. Sadler will race the McDonald's car six times in 2007 joining a small group of Sprint Cup drivers who have carried the Golden Arches paint scheme through the years. The list includes Hut Stricklin, Jimmy Spencer, plus Gillett Evernham Motorsports drivers Bill Elliott and Kasey Kahne.

The Emporia, Va. native always enjoys racing in his home state. At Martinsville, Sadler has led three races for 49 laps, including 10 laps in this race last year. He has completed 96.7% race laps in 18 starts at the .526-mile track. Sadler is 20th in points, one point behind 19th and 87 from 12th place.

One thing Sadler hasn't had much success with at Martinsville is the concession stand. That's where their famous pink hot dogs slathered with chili and onions are served by the thousands. As popular as they are, they haven't made an impression on the driver who still holds the record for most Bologna burgers eaten at one time (16) at nearby South Boston Speedway.

Elliott Sadler:

McDONALD'S SPONSORSHIP: "First off, it is going to be great having the McDonald's colors and logo on our car this weekend. When they told me about this last year, it was more of an honor than anything else. Their logo is one of the most recognized in the world and we're going to represent them in Martinsville; one of the most historic tracks on the NASCAR circuit and in my home state. They told me they serve more than 47 million people a day in 30,000 restaurants in 120 countries around the world. That's amazing. I grew up in Emporia (Virginia) two hours from Martinsville and I go past a lot of McDonald's on the way here. I know because I've visited a lot of them through the years."

MARTINSVILLE: "To be successful at Martinsville, you need to take care of your brakes all afternoon. Once you get the car to rotate in the center of the corner, you're off to a good start. And, when you can do that and have plenty of forward bite to come off that corner, you're really going to have a really good day. Those are the mechanical keys to racing at Martinsville. The other part is to just stay out of everyone else's mess. Things happen quickly on a short track and you can be done before you know what happened."

MARTINSVILLE HOT DOGS: "Okay, I'm going to get in some trouble here, but I can't eat anything that turns the bun pink. Clay Campbell, his family and all the great people that run Martinsville do a great job, but I can't eat one of those hot dogs there. Now, the guys on the team are going to be all over that concession stand in the infield, I can guarantee you that much. They like, no they love, to eat and the track is so small they can slide by there on the way back and forth to the truck very easily.

"When I ate 16 bologna burgers at South Boston (Va.) Speedway years ago - which is still a record - that was something totally different. All you need on those is grilled onions and lots of mustard. The hot dogs at Martinsville have onion, chili and a whole bunch of other stuff - that's not for me."

The No. 19 McDonald's Dodge will run GEM Chassis No. 221 this weekend; a brand new car never raced and tested last fall in Atlanta.

-credit: gem

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