Sadler gets Yates First Win of the Season
Photo by Gettys
Photo by Gettys

Posted Apr 5, 2004


Elliott Sadler gave Robert Yates racing its first victory of season by holding off Rookie Kasey Kahne in the closing laps of the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. What started off as a snoozer turned into a photo finish after the rookie Kasey Kahne cut into the half second lead that Sadler had with 10 laps left.

p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:12.0pt"> Sadler was able to hold off the charge of rookie Kahne who led 148 laps in Sundays race but didn't lead the one lap that counted the most. The win is the 2nd in Sadlers career and the first for Robert Yates this season. Kahnes 2nd place finish gives him his 4th top five finish.

Sadler averaged 138.845 mph in the race slowed by seven caution periods that took 45 laps. Twelve drivers led the race, with Sadler topping the field the final 27 laps.

Jeff Gordon who possibly had the car to beat, experienced electrical problems , gave up the lead to Sadler on lap 308. Gordon switched batteries and was able to get back up to speed, was the fastest car on the track. He couldn't catch the leaders of Sadler and Kahne. Gordon did hold on to the 3rd spot giving him his forth straight top 5 finish at T.M.S.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. who wasn't happy with the way his car was running most of the race finished 4th giving him his fourth top 5 in seven races.

“We made a lot of changes on the car today, but we never could get it turn like it should have. The changes actually hurt us, which didn’t seem to make a lot of sense as the day went on" Dale Jr. said.

Rusty Wallace moved up to 11th in the Nextel Cup points after having another solid run. He finished 5th. Rusty has back to back top 5 finishes.

Casey Mears had another good run. He moves up 5 spots in the points after finishing 7th.Hes now 18th in points.

Kurt Busch takes over the points lead from Matt Kenseth after Sundays race. Kenseth grazed the wall after making two pits stops to adjust car ended up going 2 laps down. Busch went onto finish in 6th giving hi a 19 point lead over Kenseth.

Perhaps the biggest loser was Ryan Newman when he hit the wall hard on lap 196. What was reported at first a tire went down later was found out that the throttle stuck on his Alltel Dodge. Newman dropped 5 spots in the points to 10th. He finished 39th.

"It sure would have been nice to hit a SAFER barrier,” Newman said about the soft walls that have been installed at some NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tracks.

“The car was really good on a long run. We struggled a little bit in traffic, and we struggled on the last restart getting up to speed. Once we got up to speed we were good. We were passing cars and making a race of it coming back. We were bouncing off the wall, and the throttle stuck at about 5,000 rpms. That was it.”

Texas Motor Speedway wasn't good to the home town favorites Labonte brothers. Terry Labonte’s homecoming was cut short for the two-time Cup Series champion thanks to an engine malfunction (broken cam shaft) that ended his streak of consecutive races without a DNF (did not finish) at 48, just eight shy of Gordon’s all-time record.

Bobby Labonte was able to lead a lap after staying out on green flag pits stops. He suffered alternator problems on lap 224.he went on to finish 25th.

Full Results

 

By: Eddie

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