Not a bad Saturday for Elliott Sadler.
Less than a week after Jimmie Johnson's Daytona 500 ended 199 laps early off his bumper, Sadler won Saturday's Nationwide race at Phoenix and was officially announced as the driver of the No. 55 car for five races for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Sprint Cup Series.
Sadler passed Brad Keselowski with 25 laps to go for the win, his first in the Nationwide Series since he joined the series full-time in 2011. (His last Nationwide Series win was in 1998.) He finished second in the points standings last year despite not reaching victory lane. The two drivers restarted next to each other with 33 laps to go after each took two tires on pit road.
Sadler will drive both races at Bristol and Martinsville and the first race at New Hampshire for MWR in the Cup Series, becoming the third driver for that car, along with Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip. Martin is on the pole for Sunday's Cup race at Phoenix.
He drove in the Daytona 500 in the No. 33 car for Richard Childress Racing, his Nationwide Series team. After fuel pressure problems in the 500, Sadler finished 27th.