Elliott Sadler is making another move next season but much of his surroundings will be quite familiar.
Sadler announced on Friday he would drive full-time next season in what is now called the Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing. He will drive the No. 1 Ford with sponsorship from OneMain Financial, which currently sponsors his Nationwide ride at Joe Gibbs Racing.
“It’s kind of like a homecoming for me, to be honest with you, to be reunited with Ford Racing. Ford really gave me my first opportunity in the Cup series back in 1999 with the Wood Brothers,” Sadler said.
“My contract was actually through Roush because they handled all the stuff for Wood Brothers back then, so it’s kind of like I’m coming back home.”
Sadler is fourth in Nationwide series points this season with one win and six top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 30 starts.
“This just seems like perfect fit for me and the direction I wanted to go in,” Sadler said. “I still have a lot left in my career and want to accomplish.”
NASCAR has already announced a ban on all testing next season for its three national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks.
However, some of the testing it did hope to allow – more participation for teams in Goodyear tire tests, for instance – may be running into a roadblock.
Goodyear officials maintain their portion of tire tests in 2015 will look much like those this year, which is typically a four-team test unless special circumstances dictate otherwise.
Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush, in an interview on SiriusXM Radio’s show “Dialed In” this week, said there was “substantial resistance” from Goodyear in their ability to provide tires to all the teams NASCAR was looking to allow at tire tests.
“I’ll be less surprised if it changes then if it stays the way it is,” Roush said.
NASCAR says it has not yet formalized the testing plan for next season.
“When we announced on Sept. 23 the rules package for the 2015 season, we stated that we were eliminating all teams testing and would be working with Goodyear to build a unified testing plan in which the teams could participate,” Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR's vice president of innovation, said.
“We currently are working through that process and have had on-going discussions with Goodyear to develop a proposal that we will share with the teams in near future.”
UNC Charlotte student gets ride
NEMCO Motorsports will field a full-time Late Model program for 19-year-old Dominique Van Wieringen in 2015 as she will compete in Pro and Super Late Model divisions.
Van Wieringen, a native of Ontario, Canada, is a sophomore at UNC Charlotte, where she is majoring in mechanical engineering.
“We feel like we have some of the best late model equipment out there and are ready to contend for the win every time we hit the track,” said team owner Joe Nemechek. “We’ve seen Dominique race at several events and feel like she’ll be a great fit to expand our program.”