Nationwide notebook: Elliot Sadler still mad at Regan Smith
BY TINA AKOURIS Sun-Times Media July 20, 2013 5:52PM
Elliott Sadler (11) gets sideways as Regan Smith (left), Trevor Bayne (top) and Matt Kenseth (18) pass safely during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. | Mary Schwalm/AP
Elliott Sadler is still angry with Nationwide points leader Regan Smith over an incident in last week’s Nationwide race at Loudon.
Even a 30-minute post-race phone call from Smith in an attempt to smooth things over didn’t help. Smith’s Nationwide team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., also called Sadler to work through the issue.
“(Smith) took 100 percent of the blame,” Sadler said. “But I’m still (angry) about it and Regan knows where I stand. I gave him a huge break at Iowa (June 9) when he didn’t have a spotter and he could have easily wrecked.
“I feel he didn’t give me the same courtesy.”
The two made contact on the next-to-last lap on a restart. The contact sent Sadler, who was running third, spinning and he ended up 18th.
After the race, Sadler told Smith he would make sure Smith didn’t win the Nationwide title.
“I can’t put words into his mouth,” Smith said. “That comment was made immediately after things happened last Saturday. I think it was said more in the heat of the moment.
“I would have been mad, too.”
Brian Vickers said that when drivers get into an altercation, it is very different than when athletes from opposing sports teams getting into an argument.
That’s because drivers see each other every week, either in the garage area or in drivers meetings. Athletes on opposing hockey teams, for example, might not run into each other for weeks at a time.
“It’s just a different environment,” Vickers said.
But Austin Dillon disagrees.
“I don’t know why we have to talk to each other each week,” Dillon said. “I love it that (Sadler and Smith) are angry. I’m going to go tell Elliott right now that Regan is talking about him.”