Sadler leaving Richard Childress Racing at season's end
Richmond, VA (Sports Network) - NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler confirmed on Friday that he will leave Richard Childress Racing at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Earlier this week, team owner Richard Childress said he didn't expect Sadler to return to the team next year. Sadler competed in NASCAR's premier series from 1998 to 2010 before he joined Kevin Harvick Inc. to drive in Nationwide full-time for the 2011 season. KHI ceased its operations in Nationwide at the end of last year, and Sadler moved over to RCR to drive the No. 2 Chevrolet.
Sadler did not indicate what his plans are for 2013. There has been wide speculation that he will join Joe Gibbs Racing to drive in its Nationwide program. Sadler is also exploring options in the Sprint Cup Series.
"Right now, I don't have any thing with any team," Sadler said during a press conference on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "That day will come. We're working on some things. We are talking to some different teams, and hopefully something will come together. I made a promise to myself this week that I'm going to worry about controlling the things that I can control. I'm not going to worry about anything else."
Sadler, who hails from Emporia, Va., enters Friday's Nationwide race at Richmond with a 12-point lead over defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Sadler noted that he is focused on winning a series title for RCR this year. He finished second to Stenhouse in last year's point standings.
"A lot of guys on my race team and I have never won a championship in one of NASCAR's top-three levels," Sadler said. "Even though it looks like I will not be a part of RCR next year, I think to be in this situation that we're in with the points battle and having the success we're having, it's going to be pretty easy to stay focus.
"My guys want it really bad, and they deserve it. I want it really bad. I feel like I deserve it if I keep doing what I'm supposed to do. And Richard Childress deserves it. He's given my everything I could possibly ask for as a race car driver."
Sadler has scored four wins, 11 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s in 24 Nationwide races this season. Nine races remain.
09/07 19:18:31 ET