Elliott Sadler and Carl Edwards will have 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts between them when each takes the green flag Saturday night in Phoenix, Arizona.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 7, 2010) – Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler will each make milestone NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts this Saturday night, in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Edwards will make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup start, and Elliott Sadler will make No. 400.
Edwards has enjoyed success in his short time racing at NASCAR’s top level. Through the first 199 races, Edwards has 16 wins, 61 top fives and 102 top 10s.
In the modern era (since 1972), seven drivers have won more races by their 200th start than Edwards: Jeff Gordon (45); Jimmie Johnson (27); Darrell Waltrip (25); Davey Allison* (19); Tony Stewart (19); Rusty Wallace (18); and Bill Elliott (17). (*Note: Davey Allison won his 19 races in 191 career starts.)
Though still seeking a championship, Edwards has come close. He has made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in four of his five full-time seasons, missing only in 2006.
Edwards was the championship runner-up in 2008, and finished third in 2005.
Below is a timeline of some of Edwards’ career highlights on his way to 200 starts:
1 – Edwards’ first start came at Michigan on August 22, 2004. He finished 10th that race, the last driver to earn a top-10 finish in his first start.
14 – On Feb. 20, 2005, Edwards competed in his first career Daytona 500, finishing 12th.
17 – Edwards won his first series race, edging Jimmie Johnson at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20, 2005. The margin of victory that race – .028 seconds – is tied for 12th closest since the inception of timing and scoring in May of 1993.
47 – Edwards nabbed consecutive victories for the first time in his career. Start No. 46 was a victory at Atlanta, his first season sweep (Edwards has two sweeps in his career, the second at Texas Motor Speedway in 2008). Start No. 47 was a win at Texas.
109 – Edwards nabbed the coveted “Bristol Night Race” checkered flag for the first time on August 25, 2007. He won that race again in 2008.
157 – Edwards logged his series-high ninth win in 2008 at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The victory wasn’t enough to catch champion Jimmie Johnson, as Edwards came up 69 points short in the final series standings.
Sadler’s career began with two races in 1998, before joining the series full-time in 1999. A member of the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup class in 2004, that season was also his best career year. In 2004, Sadler had two wins, eight top fives and 14 top 10s – all career highs.
Below is a timeline of some of Sadler’s career highlights:
1 – Sadler’s first race is also the sport’s longest: the Coca-Cola 600. On May 24, 1998, Sadler finished 42nd.
75 – Sadler nabbed his first career win, on March 25, 2001 at Bristol Motor Speedway, driving for the legendary Wood Brothers. He led 70 laps in the event.
184 – Sadler’s second win came at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2004, leading 48 laps.
202 – At Auto Club Speedway on Sept. 5, 2004, Sadler won his third, and most recent, race. He led 59 laps in the event.