Country music fans might remember Elliot Sadler as Blake Shelton’s prison guard in the video for “Ol’ Red” or the inexplicable road rager in “Some Beach.” NASCAR fans know him as one of the nicest drivers to roll out of North Carolina.
He could also be a spokesman for the ever changing developments in safety for NASCAR drivers.
Like most drivers, Elliot has had his share of bumps and dings while on the track. Remember, “Rubbin’, son, is racin’,” according to Harry in “Days of Thunder.” But in 2003, at Talladega Superspeedway, Elliot added “rotatin’ and rollin’” to that alliteration.
After kissing fenders with Kurt Bush, Elliot’s No. 38 M&Ms Ford Taurus caught air, and at the incredibly high rate of speed that these cars are traveling, the Taurus was sent spiraling one-and-a-half times into the air, then slid on its roof before rolling four-and-a-half more times.
It’s almost nauseating to watch.
However, as soon as his car came to rest Elliot could be seen removing his steering wheel and waiting for some help extricating himself from his demolished car.
From the outside looking in, it seems miraculous, but when Rare Country spoke with Elliot in Las Vegas earlier this year he was quick to credit the ever-evolving developments in in-car safety for his being able to walk away from that accident and another rough hit at Pocono in 2000.
He also said that pro drivers can’t let the fear of crashes affect their driving. “As a race car driver, you really can’t worry about that part. You got to go do your job, go fast and try to win races,” he said. “It’s just like a wide receiver coming across the middle to catch a pass. He’s not worrying about somebody taking his legs out. He’s got to catch the pass and make the first down, and we kinda have the same mentality as drivers.”
A football weighs a little less than a Ford Taurus though, Elliot.
We’re thrilled that Elliot, his pal Bubba Wallace, and all the drivers are being well taken care of by the NASCAR association. And we wish all the drivers well this weekend in Watkins Glen.